A fake 2020 candidate gets verified by Twitter, the U.S. officially bans Huawei, and new data says there’s a lot of mistrust with tech during elections.

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There’s been tons of chatter about a 17-year-old high school student who created a Twitter account for a fake candidate running for Congress in Rhode Island. The fake candidate, Andrew Walz, was labelled as a Republican candidate and was even verified by Twitter’s famous blue checkmark. According to CNN, the boy was “bored” over the holidays and created a fake account to test Twitter’s election integrity efforts. Naturally, people all over the internet including Reddit pounced on the story. Most commenters are pointing out how the blue checkmark, which has also been adopted by Facebook, is clearly not the reliable tool Twitter says it is for helping users find reliable information. Twitter has since suspended the account.

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation recently that would ban the use of federal funds to purchase telecommunications equipment from companies deemed a national security threat, such as Huawei. The Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act bans the Federal Communications Commission from giving funds to U.S. telecom groups to purchase equipment from companies deemed threats and was passed by the House in December. To help smaller telecom providers rip out and replace equipment from companies like Huawei, the bill would require the FCC to establish a $1 billion fund to accomplish this and to compile a list of firms seen as posing a threat to telecom networks.

And lastly, a new survey suggests Americans don’t trust tech platforms to prevent misuse in the 2020 elections. But the survey includes some head-scratching results. While nearly three-quarters of Americans have little to no confidence in technology companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to prevent the misuse of their platforms to influence the 2020 presidential election, yet 78 per cent still think that it’s the platforms’ job to prevent such misuse,

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening.

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