Twitter will be bringing back its “Election Label” feature for the 2020 races to help users distinguish between the accounts of various candidates on the social network.
According to a post published on Twitter’s company blog on December 12, the popular social network is not only verifying the campaign accounts of candidates who have qualified for the 2020 primary elections, but it will also be bringing back Election Labels, a secondary feature it employed in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.
An Election Label is an identification feature for certain Twitter accounts that contains further details about a given verified election candidate. In addition to having a blue check mark next to a candidate’s Twitter name, there will also be a short, gray label underneath their name that contains a ballot box icon, their state and district number, and the office they’re running for. Election Labels aren’t just limited to a candidate’s profile page, however, Once they’re rolled out, Twitter says that the label will appear “on every tweet sent and retweeted by the candidate’s account, even when embedded on sites off of Twitter.”
Election Labels aren’t just for any candidate account on Twitter. According to the post, the labels are only for accounts of candidates who have already qualified for the general election ballot for the 2020 elections and are running for the following offices: The U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and governor. In contrast, for candidate accounts to obtain Twitter verification badges, the social media company requires that they must be for candidates “who have qualified for primary elections.” The first primaries are slated to begin on February 11 in New Hampshire. The first caucus, in Iowa, will be on February 3.
Election Labels are expected to start appearing on candidate Twitter accounts (tentatively) after March 3, which is Super Tuesday, also known as the day when the largest number of U.S. states are holding a primary or caucus. The labels will not appear on a candidate’s account until the candidate has officially qualified to appear on the general election ballot, and the company says that the labels’ appearances “will happen on a rolling basis” since election and caucus dates vary from state to state.
Twitter verification badges for candidate accounts are another matter, however, and the company announced December 12 that it has begun the process of verifying the Twitter accounts of candidates. Candidate accounts that are eligible to be verified must have already qualified for the primary elections for the following offices: The U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, or for governor.
The Twitter verification process and the use of Election Labels are part of a partnership Twitter has with Ballotpedia, a nonpartisan and nonprofit online encyclopedia that covers American politics. In the context of this partnership, Ballotpedia is helping Twitter identify which candidates have qualified for the general election ballot.
Twitter has been big into implementing new features lately. The news about Election Labels comes a day after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his company would fund “a small independent team” to develop an “open and decentralize standard for social media.”
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