Twitter accidentally gave a “verified” checkmark to a fake election candidate, but it’s struggling to verify real people running for office. Despite guaranteeing that it would verify candidates, the platform has not verified Florida Republican candidate Anna Paulina Luna.
As Breitbart News reported last week, Twitter verified the account of “Andrew Walz,” a fake congressional candidate created by a 17-year-old high school kid.
“Verification” is the process by which Twitter attaches a blue, “verified” checkmark to certain accounts, usually those of public figures, celebrities, and major organizations. Verification adds prominence to an account and assures the public they are reading the tweets of the right person, not to mention providing certain account perks and tools.
But even as it verifies fake candidates, Twitter is struggling to keep its promise to proactively verify real ones. An investigation by The Hill has found that nearly 90 primary candidates have yet to be verified on Twitter.
One Republican congressional candidate, U.S. Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, has still not been verified despite multiple requests sent to Twitter. The platform says it will verify any candidate that is listed on Ballotpedia, but it has not held up its end of the bargain in Luna’s case.
“I am now less than 6 months from my primary and after inquiry with both Ballotpedia and Twitter, they will still not verify my account,” Luna told Breitbart News.
“I am the ONLY candidate in my primary of 6 other people who has not been verified. I also have the largest media presence as well as following. Upon contacting Twitter and Ballotpedia they both blamed the other and told me it was ‘in the process.'”
“After time passed I inquired again and they did not respond. I have been approached by voters in my district asking the very same question. I would be happy to forward emails to show correspondence.”
Luna has over 100,000 followers on Twitter, and says she uses her combined social media followings to fundraise for her campaign. Lack of verification has an impact on where her tweets appear in searches and the public areas of Twitter, and will, therefore, have an impact on those fundraising efforts, putting her at a disadvantage in relation to her primary opponents.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.