The UK is having an election in less than a month, and last night, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn debated Tory archclown Boris Johnson for a televised debate in which Johnson had to defend his record as a lying, racist, philandering, cowardly failure of a human being, and of a leader to his party and the nation.
During the debates, the @CCHQPress Twitter account — which has a Twitter "blue check" indicating that its identity has been verified by the company — changed its screen name to "FactCheckUK," a name very similar to the existing UK impartial fact-checking service "FactCheck." Having done so, the account emitted a stream of calumnies and falsehoods about the Labour Party, all appearing under the "verified" FactCheckUK by-line.
Twitter has publicly characterised the move as "[an attempt] to mislead people by editing verified profile information" and has sworn that any repeat of this stunt or similar moves by the Tory party will lead to "decisive corrective action."
Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly insists that there was nothing wrong with his party's actions.
"It is inappropriate and misleading for the Conservative press office to rename their twitter account 'factcheckUK' during this debate," said Full Fact, an independent British fact-checking charity in a post. "Please do not mistake it for an independent fact checking service."
Twitter has a policy against impersonation that states: "Twitter accounts that pose as another person, brand, or organization in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under Twitter's impersonation policy."
Britain's Labour Party joined the wave of criticism saying, "Conservatives' laughable attempt to dupe those watching the #ITVDebate by renaming their twitter account shows you can't trust a word they say," the party tweeted from its official account.
UK Conservatives criticized for 'misleading' Twitter change [Vasco Cotovio and Hadas Gold/CNN]