According to CNN, a 17-year-old high school student in upstate New York created a nonexistent politician, Andrew Walz, and turned him into a Republican from Rhode Island, a recognized business leader and passionate student advocate running for Congress with the slogan: “Let’s make a difference in Washington.” “。
Earlier this month, Andrew Walz’s Twitter account also passed Twitter’s blue check mark. This mark is used to verify the authenticity of the Senate, House and Governor’s candidates currently running. Twitter sees the work as key to helping Americans find reliable information about politicians in the run-up to the 2020 election.
The student has now spoken to CNN Business with the permission of his parents and has agreed not to be named because he is a minor. He said he was bored during the holidays and created a fake account to test Twitter’s campaign integrity. The blue check mark was a Twitter tag and was later copied by Facebook. It is often assigned to important accounts belonging to journalists, politicians, government agencies and businesses. This feature is critical for Twitter to help users find reliable information from verified news publishers.
The fact that a teenager with little resources was able to quickly create a fake candidate in his free time and verify it via Twitter raised questions about the company’s ability to accurately handle information about the 2020 election. CNN Business suspended it after it contacted Twitter about the fake account. A Twitter spokesman said: “Creating a fake candidate account is a violation of our rules and has been permanently suspended. “