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Twitter To Verify Celebrity Accounts Amidst Fakes Fears

Microblogging phenomenon Twitter will be rolling out a new feature called "Verified accounts" which aims at reducing risk associated with the rising number of impersonators and fake accounts worldwide.

In what seems to be the first step towards starting a premium account, Twitter's Co-founder, Biz Stone, wrote that the move came in the wake of a lawsuit brought forward by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa against the company.

Many may consider La Russa's move to be a blessing in disguise since it allows Twitter to tackle an issue that could possibly ruin the microblogging website's reputation and potential future lawsuits.

Just like domain names, thousands of Twitter accounts have been snapped up early by persons, a move made easier by the fact that Twitter is essentially free.

Verified Accounts Beta, Twitter said, will provide with "an opportunity to improve Twitter user experience and clear up confusion beyond simply removing impersonation accounts once alerted" and will start with individuals, entities and organisations most likely to be at the risk of impersonification.

The process will see genuine accounts be granted with a special seal to be displayed on the upper right hand side of the screen. Twitter though is quick to say that accounts without a verification seal are not necessarily fakes.

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Our Comments

This might signal Twitter's move into a paid-for line of service. Twitter might even have a valeting service where a virtual P.A. attends to the needs of celebs by posting photos, links to their articles and what not. B.Ackles from @socialcoop says that he would be willing to pay $20 per year for a "verified accounts", which we we think is fair to protect a brand.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.