Twitter overhaul to see removal of certain account verifications

    Posted on November 20, 2017

     

    As part of its latest move, microblogging site Twitter has suggested that it is in the process of reviewing its authentication system, and as a result could revoke the blue verification stamp from certain accounts.

    The move has been made after the site faced a backlash of angry users after the site had verified the account of an American supremacist rally organiser earlier in the month.

    The company announced that it was reviewing its system with a series of tweets from the Twitter Support account on Wednesday last week.

    In the tweets, the company acknowledged that verifying an account can be interpreted as an endorsement of the person running the account, highlighting their importance to the site. Twitter states that it should have done something about these perceptions earlier as this was not what it wanted and explained how it got to where it had prior to the backlash.

    As a result, the company has introduced a new set of guidelines relating to account verification and will be changing how it deals with the process. Furthermore, it has stated that it will begin to remove the verified badge from all accounts whose behaviour does not meet these guidelines.

    The guidelines state that verification is a way for the site to let its users know that an account of general interest is authentic. It also includes a section on the “loss of verification”, which outlines some reasons why Twitter may remove verified status. This includes harassment, violent behaviour and breaking general Twitter etiquette. It is unclear about when Twitter will begin removing the status from those who no longer meet the criteria, but judging from these tweets, it will be in the near future.

    As part of the process review, the site stopped accepting recommendations for verification from the public, and has still not opened them up with the introduction of the new guidelines.

    This is the latest move in a string of recent changes for Twitter. It recently decided to change its iconic 140-character limit on tweets, by doubling the limit to 280 characters to all users of the site, following a successful trial on a sample of users. Furthermore, it also decided to up the limit for usernames from 20 characters to 50, giving users the opportunity to either use their entire name or add extra emojis for emphasis. It is not clear if the boundaries for Twitter handles will be increased as well.

    Alan Littler

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