Twitter has accused the Conservatives of misleading the public after they rebranded one of their official party accounts to make it look like a factchecking service during the ITV leaders’ debate.
The party was widely criticised on Tuesday night when it temporarily changed the name of its Conservative campaign headquarters press office Twitter account, which is followed by nearly 76,000 users, to factcheckUK from its usual CCHQPress.
The account’s avatar was switched during the debate from the party’s logo to a white tick against a purple background, and the account was used to promote pro-Tory statements prefixed with the word “FACT”. Shortly after the debate finished, the Twitter account name was changed back to CCHQ Press.
On Thursday morning, the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, defended the move and told BBC Breakfast that “no one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust”.
In a statement, Twitter said the Conservatives had misled the public and it would take “decisive corrective action” if a similar stunt was attempted again. “Twitter is committed to facilitating healthy debate throughout the UK general election,” said a spokesperson.
“We have global rules in place that prohibit behaviour 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 UK election debate – will result in decisive corrective action.” Read more