Twitter to experiment Verified Accounts this summer
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has taken to the company blog to respond to the suit and detail Twitter's future plans to combat false accounts.
"With due respect to the man and his notable work, Mr. La Russa's lawsuit was an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous, " Stone wrote in a post that went up Saturday. "Twitter's Terms of Service are fair and we believe will be upheld in a court that will ultimately dismiss Mr. La Russa's lawsuit."
Stone reiterated that the microblogging company suspends, deletes, or transfers control of accounts known to be started by impersonators. He said such action was taken in La Russa's case, and also called untrue reports that Twitter has settled the suit.
Nonetheless, Stone said the company recognizes an opportunity to improve its customer service, and will experiment starting this summer with a beta preview of a feature, rumored for some time, called "Verified Accounts." These accounts will feature a special seal indicating that they belong to the person (or persons) they say they belong to.
The experiment will begin with public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation. He said the company hope to verify more accounts in the future but due to the resources required, verification will begin only with a small set.
Please note that this doesn't mean accounts without a verification seal are fake—the vast majority of Twitter accounts are not impersonators. Another way to determine authenticity is to check the official web site of the person for a link back to their Twitter account.
"When we do start testing Account Verification, we will be sure to provide ample methods for feedback. Initially, verification will not be tested with businesses. However, we do see an opportunity in that arena so we'll keep you posted when we have something to share," Biz added.