Twitter Denies Accusations That Verified Accounts Are Reserved For The Famous
By Mikelle Leow, 11 Nov 2017
Composite image by DesignTAXI. Twitter ‘Verified’ icon via Twitter, background image via Samuel Zeller (CC0)
Twitter announced on Thursday that it is putting verification approvals on hold until it figures out what the ‘tick’ truly represents.
The decision was made following the platform’s verification of Jason Kessler, the white supremacist in charge of the ‘Unite the Right’ movement in Charlottesville.
Twitter’s approval of Kessler’s account was construed by some as an “endorsement” of his beliefs. In an article on The Root, journalist Monique Judge writes, “Twitter just validated everything this man has to say by giving him that blue check mark after his name.”
The social network denies that the blue badge was created to be a symbol of importance, and adds that it is responsible for causing the “confusion.”
However, the means many have taken to earn their badges—as well as the fact that a select circle of “influencers” get verified—might contradict Twitter’s stance.
“[F]olks with legitimate reasons to be verified have to go through hell and high water to get that blue check mark,” Judge adds.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, has since acknowledged that the system could be “broken.”
Using the 280-character limit that’s recently been awarded to most Twitter users, Dorsey writes: “We should’ve communicated faster on this… our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered.”
Until Twitter finds a yardstick that would properly define the term “verified”, those meaning to get that ‘tick’ icon next to their names would have to wait.
Comments from Twitter:
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017
We should’ve communicated faster on this (yesterday): our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered. And we failed by not doing anything about it. Working now to fix faster. https://t.co/wVbfYJntHj— jack (@jack) November 9, 2017
via Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter
We should have stopped the current process at the beginning of the year. We knew it was busted as people confuse ID verification with endorsement. Have to fix the system, pausing until we do. https://t.co/HSLbJOG2AN— Ed Ho (@mrdonut) November 9, 2017
via Ed Ho, General Manager of Consumer Product and Engineering at Twitter
Comments from users:
Twitter in Nov 2017: Twitter Verification is only ID verification, NOT an endorsement— Matt Navarra + the 38 extra characters ⭐️ (@MattNavarra) November 9, 2017
Twitter Pre-Nov 2017: Twitter verification is us signalling which accounts we think are important and high-quality ...aka... endorsed by us
if verification were *really* intended to authenticate identity, an easy solution to this would be verifying all real users' identities with blue checkmarks. would be a direct solution to twitter's bot problem too!— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) November 9, 2017
[via The Next Web and Mashable, cover image via various sources]
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