Twitter have just announced a verified accounts beta program to ensure everyone, specifically public figures, are who they say they are.
This comes as no real surprise after American baseball team manager, Tony La Russa, threatened to sue over an individual impersonating him on Twitter. The suit was settled outside of court but clearly, its shaken Twitter up.
Verified accounts are likely to be proven by the individual in question linking to their profile from an official source, ideally their website.
The Verified Accounts beta will launch this summer and verified Twitter accounts will feature a special seal (as shown above).
Part of me is slightly disappointed because there was a certain element of fun involved with distinguishing who was the real deal and who wasn’t. There were a number of amusing fake accounts like Christopher Walken’s for example that really created a stir. The fake accounts can of course still continue except everyone will have to acknowledgethe fact that the majority of them won’t be authentic – never did The Fake Steve Jobs any harm.
What is genuinely sad is the number of communities that have been set up devoted to giving Twitterers a trusted source for who is and who isn’t really on Twitter, my personal favorite Valebrity.