Twitter has detailed plans to clamp down on celebrity imposters with a "verified account" service. The move follows a lawsuit by St Louis Cardinals boss Tony La Russa over bogus tweets made in his name, as well as the creation of numerous other counterfeit celebrity profiles over recent months. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone …
Just what we've all been thinking
They're verified twats.
Paris, 'cos she knows what to do with a twat.
Most celebs do things like keep mobile numbers private - is Twit going to ask for ex-directory numbers - and then how would they check that those aren't mine?
This is just cheap publicity and a trivial waste of El Reg resources (sic.)
"an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous"
Ummm, a bit like using Twitter....?
Is this a potential revenue stream I see before me? And there was us all hoping that Twitter would fold up pretty soon.
Shame @steve_buscemi got shut down, his doppelganger was realistically hilarious.
Oh and Twitter snobs, go fuck yourselves.
Pay us for a premium account on our service or we will allow you to be impersonated...?
I'm very confused.
I'm thoroughly sick to the back teeth of scoundrels putting words in my mouth.
Users need the power
Verified identity needs to be centralized and put in the hands of users, rather than waiting for services to figure out a solution. Services don't have a strong incentive and will likely make things far more complicated. One way I've found to do this is use DandyID, a web service that manages my verified identity on all of the services I use (I only use about 6 but DandyID says they handle over 300). They also have some cool analytics.
Names do not identify
[Not news to el Reg readers of course]
Even the imminent Ms. Hilton has a doppelganger in the form of a certain hotel in the capital city of a certain French speaking European republic.
True, assumed names used in the entertainment business are registered so as to prevent duplication, but that's strictly a private arrangement There's nothing stopping anyone from taking the name ... ah... "Sarah Bee". Or, for that matter, "Gordon Brown".
Indeed, I imagine that while the eminent Ms. Bee has few doppelgangers due to her uncommon surname, Mr. Brown probably has lots and lots and lots.
Besides, it's way too much fun to pretend to be someone (self-)important and thereby mock their pretensions; where there's a will, there's a way. Twitter vs. the hackers. Stay tuned for fireworks and feathers flying.
I have been working on this problem myself in my lab, with the aid of several graduate students. This work was completed at considerable cost to myself: I have almost completely run out of crisps and nuts.
The solution is to embed a specially crafted block of data into the output of Twitter's web server which, on interpretation by the user agent, will influence the user through a visual channel to reduce the risk of deception. The effect to the user will be something like this:
REMEMBER THAT ANYONE CAN USE ANY NAME ON TWITTER. DO NOT ASSUME THEY ARE WHO THEY APPEAR TO BE.
I have applied for a few hundred patents for different parts of this technology (particularly the use of capitals) in all major countries. If Twitter would like to implement the system I'm sure they will find my fees* acceptable.
*Acceptable fees may include unnacceptable charges.
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