Twitter to secure high-profile accounts ahead of the 2020 election

Twitter's new in-app notification to enhance security ahead of the presidential election

Twitter has announced that it will help secure high-profile accounts ahead of the US presidential election.

According to the announcement, Twitter will require or strongly recommend security updates for certain high-profile accounts that could influence the November 3 election. The hope is to protect them from potential election-influencing hacks.

Twitter plans to inform these accounts of the suggested and required changes via an in-app notification (pictured above). The accounts Twitter plans to target include:

  • The US Executive Branch and Congress
  • US Governors and Secretaries of State
  • Presidential campaigns, political parties and candidates with Twitter Election Labels who are running for US House, US Senate, or Governor
  • Major US news outlets and political journalists

Some of the security updates will include:

  • Requiring a strong password — those with weak passwords will have to update it on the next login
  • Users must verify their email address or phone number to reset their passwords
  • Strong recommendations to activate two-factor authentication

Twitter will also implement additional internal security measures, starting with more advanced suspicious activity detection and alerts. It’ll also add additional login defenses and expedited account-recovery support.

This isn’t the first security measure social media companies have taken leading into the 2020 election. Facebook and Instagram launched their Voting Information Center in August, and Twitter released strict election misinformation rules around the same time. In January, Facebook banned deepfakes and manipulated videos.

Then, in September, Facebook announced it would stop approving political ads a week before the election. Finally, later in September, Twitter announced it would remove or label tweets intended to undermine public confidence in civic processes.

These law changes come on the heels of social media manipulation allegedly playing a role in the 2016 presidential election and the increased use of social media in politics.