— This is an excerpt from The State Journal —-
With the November general elections looming in the not too distant future candidates are doing everything they can to get their message out to the public. They are showing up to community events, speaking at local club and organizational meetings, and of course, posting on any number of social media platforms.
This week Gary Stratton, the Republican candidate for the 57th District of the Kentucky House of Representatives, went as far as to secure a verified Twitter account. He is among candidates and elected officials living in Frankfort to be verified on the social media platform.
Account verification is a tool used by social media platforms to let the public know that the person represented by a certain account is who they say they are. Verified accounts are signified by a blue check-mark, or “badge,” next to the user’s name. “To receive the blue badge, your account must be authentic, notable, and active,” Twitter’s website reads.
Notable people include elected officials, companies, news organizations, entertainers, athletes and activists.
To get verified, political candidates like Stratton must:
• Link to at least five relevant articles that reference the applicant multiple times as a government office or public service
• Verify an email address with an official government domain
• Official websites or news articles published by already verified organizations that reference the organization’s Twitter handle or registered email address can help authenticate the applicant’s account
Jonathan Gaby, a consultant for the Stratton campaign, said that the verification is an important step in making sure Stratton is accessible to the voting public.
“Doing that extra legwork provides extra security to voters who might seek out Gary Stratton’s Twitter page,” Gaby said in an interview. “They will know that it is actually Gary Stratton, the candidate that is running for the 57th District this year.”
Stratton, who is active on Facebook, said that he is new to Twitter but he looks forward to using is to get his message across.
“I am going to piggyback off of Facebook and the website as much as possible,” Stratton said.
This will be the second time Stratton faces Democratic incumbent, Rep. Derrick Graham.
Graham who has represented the 57th District since 2003, has an unverified Twitter page and did not respond to The State Journal’s request for comment.