Britain’s ruling Conservative Party has been reprimanded by Twitter after it changed the name of its verified press office account on the platform to “factcheckUK” during a nationally broadcast TV debate Tuesday night. The switch came while Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparred with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn ahead of next month’s general election. Not only did the account change its name, avatars were switched to make it resemble an independent fact-checking service. The account retained the campaign’s verified checkmark during and after the stunt. Twitter’s statement said: “We have global rules in place that prohibit behavior that can mislead people, including those with verified accounts. Any further attempts to mislead people by editing verified profile information—in a manner seen during the U.K. election debate—will result in decisive corrective action.” Dominic Raab, the U.K. foreign secretary, defended the stunt on Wednesday, telling the BBC it was “very clear” that the account was affiliated with Conservative campaign headquarters.
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