Technology A high school student created a fake 2020 candidate. Twitter verified it

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New York (CNN Business) - Andrew Walz calls himself a "proven business leader" and a "passionate advocate for students." Walz, a Republican from Rhode Island, is running for Congress with the tagline, "Let's make change in Washington together," or so his Twitter account claimed.

Earlier this month, Walz's account received a coveted blue checkmark from Twitter as part of the company's broader push to verify the authenticity of many Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates currently running for office. Twitter has framed this effort as key to helping Americans find reliable information about politicians in the leadup to the 2020 election.

But there's just one problem: Walz does not exist. The candidate is the creation of a 17-year-old high school student from upstate New York, CNN Business has learned.

The student, who CNN Business spoke to with the permission of his parents and has agreed not to name as he is a minor, said he was "bored" over the holidays and created the fake account to test Twitter's election integrity efforts.

The blue checkmark is a hallmark of Twitter and one that was later copied by Facebook. It is often given to prominent accounts belonging to journalists, politicians, government agencies and businesses. The feature is central to Twitter's goal of helping users find reliable information on the platform, often from verified newsmakers.


Read more here. (CNN Business)
 
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