Twitter unveils new election security feature ahead of midterms

Twitter unveils new election security feature ahead of midterms
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Twitter on Wednesday announced a new feature aimed at increasing election security on its platform in advance of the 2018 midterm elections.

The social media platform will begin labeling general election candidates in gubernatorial races and congressional races at the federal level.

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“U.S. Election labels” will display more information about the candidate, including what office they’re running for, the state the race is in and the district number in House races accompanied by a small icon of a government building.

The labels will appear underneath a candidate's profile across Twitter’s platform.

Candidates will be vetted by Twitter through a partnership it has established with the civic nonprofit Ballotpedia. They’ll work together to cull together candidate details that will be displayed on Twitter.

Twitter will start displaying many of the new labels on May 30 and will begin sending out emails to get permission from candidates to display the labels as early as Wednesday afternoon.

“When people are looking for news and information, they turn to Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world right now,” wrote Bridget Coyne, Twitter’s senior manager of public policy. “We understand the significance of this responsibility and our teams are building new ways for people who use Twitter to identify original sources and authentic information.”

Twitter’s move follows attempts across major internet companies to ensure that their platforms are secure before the midterm elections this fall. Twitter, Facebook and Google each endured heavy scrutiny following disclosures that had been manipulated by Russian trolls seeking to influence the 2016 elections.

Lawmakers have since called for the platforms to improve election security on their platforms and have threatened to impose new regulation.