Andrew Walz Bio
This 17-year-old high school student Andrew Walz created a Twitter account for a fake candidate running for Congress in Rhode Island. Twitter thought the candidate was real and eventually verified it. Verification of candidates on Twitter is one way the company says it’s combating online disinformation after Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Andrew Walz Age
Andrew Walz is 17 years old.
Andrew Walz Created a Fake 2020 Candidate And Twitter Verified This
Walz’s account received a prized blue checkmark from Twitter earlier this month as part of the wider drive of the organization to verify the legitimacy of other currently running for office candidates from the Senate, House and Governorate. Twitter has described this campaign as the secret to helping Americans find accurate policy knowledge in the run-up to the 2020 election.
But there is only one problem: There is no walz. The candidate is the product of an upstate New York high school student, CNN Business has learned.
The boy, who was interviewed by CNN Business with his parents ‘ permission and decided not to name as a minor, said he was “bored” during the holidays and created the fake account to check Twitter’s attempts to ensure election integrity.
The blue checkmark is a Twitter trademark, which was later replicated by Facebook. Prominent accounts belonging to journalists, politicians, government agencies, and businesses are also issued. The function is central to Twitter’s mission to help users find credible platform content, often from verified newsmakers.
The fact that a teenager using next to no resources was able to quickly create a fake candidate in his free time and get it verified by Twitter raises questions about the company’s preparedness for handling how the 2020 elections will play out on its platform. A Twitter spokesperson recently told one publication, “Our worst-case scenario is that we verify someone who isn’t actually the candidate.”
Last year, Twitter was criticized for saying it would not verify candidates unless they won their primaries. In December, Twitter changed its policy and said it would verify primary candidates to help improve the information for voters on the platform.
The verification of the false candidate is an example of the challenges social media companies can face when they try to make changes that are meant to make their platforms more transparent. The verification of the fake candidate came as real candidates across the US have complained that.
Twitter has not verified their accounts. One Democratic primary candidate in Georgia told CNN Business that not being verified may negatively impact online donations made to her campaign.
Twitter told CNN Business it had verified nearly 1,500 candidates since announcing the expansion of its verification program in December.