Elections

Dems Ding Twitter For Not Indiscriminately Giving Blue Check Marks To Every Candidate

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Democrats cry foul after Twitter decides to offer blue check marks only to congressional candidates who manage to win primaries.

Twitter is telling some congressional candidates that they must win their primary races before the company considers verifying their accounts, CNN reported Tuesday. Ray Buckley, the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, says that move will likely help trolls and others mimic candidates online.

“In the US, once candidates win their primary elections and/or qualify for the general election ballot for Congressional, Senate or Gubernatorial races we will verify their official Twitter accounts,” a Twitter representative said in a press statement. CNN obtained emails between candidates and the company confirming the policy.

“We are waiting to apply blue badge verification to profiles of election candidates until after your state’s primary,” a company employee told a congressional campaign staff member in an email. Twitter has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment explaining the requirement.

FILE PHOTO: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

Buckley says the policy will harm political candidates. “We are very troubled to hear that they’re unwilling to do it in the primary,” told reporters, adding that there’s “no logical excuse for the decision. They should know that they’re being used to disseminate misinformation and character assassination.”

Buckley’s complaint comes after reports in May show an Iran-backed campaign used Twitter accounts in 2018 to impersonate three Republican congressional candidates. Two of the impersonated accounts plagiarized content from the candidates’ actual profiles and would later subtly post pro-Iranian messages onto the phony account.

Iran’s attempts are the latest in a slew of efforts to troll voters. American investigators have determined Russia used similar techniques to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. (RELATED: REPORT: Iran-Linked Campaigns Used Social Media To Spread Misinformation And Troll Conservative Voters)

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