As Twitter flips the off-switch to its “verified account” feature, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the return of the celebrity impostor.
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The system, introduced in June 2009, won’t be wiped from feeds that have already earned a “verified” status, but for the most part, no more badges will be issued. The blue icons were originally put in place so that users could distinguish between the faux and official accounts for notable media outlets and celebrities. All Things Digital reports that the function was actually shut off in August, without much notice, but that a note from Twitter promises to replace the verification system with a new service “that will be better for users.”
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That said, Twitter’s verification service will not disappear completely. In the event of a new high-profile account, a “Verified” badge would be possible, though such exceptions will be rare. “We continue to very selectively verify accounts most at risk for impersonation on a one-off and highly irregular basis,” Twitter PR exec Carolyn Penner writes. In the mean time, 50 more fake Steve Jobs will attempt to fool the Internet – and probably succeed. Sigh.