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February 5, 2015

Twitter blue tick panic as MPs face changing handle

All MPs must remove mentions of their elected position from their Twitter username after March 30.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The UK Parliament will require all MPs to remove mentions of their elected position from their Twitter username after March 30.

UK politicians have expressed concerns about having to remove "MP" from their Twitter accounts when parliament shuts down before the election.

The Electoral Commission, set up by Parliament to run elections, currently requires all MPs to remove mentions of their elected position from their Twitter username after March 30.

"All Members’ websites and any other online or social media presences (such as Facebook, Twitter etc) must bear a clear disclaimer throughout the dissolution period which makes it clear that the website was established while you were a Member of Parliament and that you are no longer a Member of Parliament," its guidelines states.

The changing of an MP’s Twitter handle may result in the account losing its verified status – shown with a blue tick beside the Twitter handle. This loss of verified status is a concern to the keen tweeters among Parliament.

MPs with "MP" in their bios are "distraught" about losing their verified status, according to Buzzfeed.

"If I change my Twitter handle then I’ll lose my blue tick," one Conservative MP told the online publication.

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It added that Labour MPs also expressed concerns at the requirement to alter their usernames on the site.

Meanwhile, Twitter is understood to agree that politicians with "MP" in their Twitter handle will have to switch usernames.

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