Social Media

Twitter Introduces New Policies Regarding the Upcoming Election

Twitter rolls out new security features - Appy Pie

In a new blog post, Twitter said it will start prompting high-profile political accounts to take heightened security measures ahead of the 2020 US election. Over the next few days, Twitter will be automatically turning on password reset protection for these accounts while recommending that these high-profile users turn on two-factor authentication. These accounts will also be required to use strong passwords.

This latest election-focused security move follows an embarrassing account hack incident in July which saw scores of verified users’ accounts accessed and used to tweet out a cryptocurrency scam. Twitter said accounts that will be required to take steps to tighten their security are:

  • US Executive Branch and Congress
  • US Governors and Secretaries of State
  • Presidential campaigns, political parties and candidates with Twitter Election Labels running for US House, US Senate, or Governor
  • Major US news outlets and political journalists

Twitter wrote in a blog post, “Voters, political candidates, elected officials and journalists rely on Twitter every day to share and find reliable news and information about the election, and we take our responsibility to them seriously. As we learn from the experience of past security incidents and implement changes, we’re also focused on keeping high-profile accounts on Twitter safe and secure during the 2020 US election.”

The platform also said it would be implementing extra layers of what it called “proactive internal security safeguards” for the aforementioned accounts, including:

  • More sophisticated detections and alerts to help us, and account holders, respond rapidly to suspicious activity
  • Increased login defences to prevent malicious account takeover attempts
  • Expedited account recovery support to ensure account security issues are resolved quickly

These security prompts will be delivered via an in-app notification for specific election-related users. Twitter says that it will continue to notify these accounts of additional measures they can take to protect their accounts as the 2020 election nears. The company also says that it will implement internal security safeguards for these accounts, including new methods of response to suspicious activity and expedited account recovery if takeovers occur.

The new focus on prominent accounts follows one of the largest breaches Twitter has suffered in its history. In July, accounts belonging to political figures like President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Michael Bloomberg were compromised by hackers for use in a massive bitcoin scam. Responding to the breach, Twitter blocked all new tweets from every verified user. This new announcement appears to be an effort to prevent these kinds of breaches in the future as the election nears.

In the lead-up to the election, Twitter has reworked many of its content policies and rolled out new features to help users find reputable information. This week, Twitter launched its election hub featuring voting information in both English and Spanish. The hub appears above the Explore tab for US users and will include Twitter moments from “reputable news outlets” and other content like debate live streams.

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