Twitter moves to protect celebs

Tony La Russa lawsuit prompts firm's action

DENVER -- Twitter is responding to complaints from many celebrities in the sport and entertainment worlds about imposters using their name to start a Twitter account.

The company said it will introduce a Verified Accounts program that will authenticate whether a certain Twitter feed is in fact owned by the person it's registered under, and will be available at first only to public officials and famous artists, athletes and other celebrities.

The move was prompted in part by a lawsuit from St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa over a Twitter account in his name that he did not originate or control. Usually, Twitter just deletes and/or transfers control of "fake" accounts to the actual owner, as it did in the La Russa case.
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