Twitter could be ready to verify everyone

Posted on March 12, 2018

 

One of microblogging site Twitter’s most recognisable features is its blue tick verification feature that indicates the authenticity of high-profile users such as celebrities and public figures. However, in a bid to combat problems it has been having with the feature in recent months, one possible solution it could offer is to verify everyone on the site.

In November 2017, Twitter announced that it was going to be reviewing its verification process after the company faced a huge backlash following the verification of an American supremacist rally organiser. After public outcry, Twitter started to remove the verification badges from this account and a number of others, and forced company bosses to review the way it approaches this feature in the future.

As part of this review, it introduced a new set of guidelines that highlighted how it will deal with the process moving forwards, and that it will remove verified status from anyone who does not adhere to the new rules.

On Thursday last week, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, announced via a live Periscope stream that the firm is looking at a way of expanding its verification process to the whole of the site. During this stream, Dorsey explained that the current verification process was broken and he and his team were re-evaluating how it awards these blue ticks. This team is being led by David Gasca, the company’s Product Director.

Dorsey continued to explain that the main plan at the moment was to open up verification to the whole of the platform in a way that was scalable, and where the company is not standing in the way. This will allow users to verify more details about themselves without being judged by the site.

The verification feature was initially brought to the platform in order to distinguish between real and parody accounts of high-profile users like celebrities, but the checkmark then became seen as a symbol of status and credibility, which Gasca has identified as a “problem”, as the platform sees the marker simply as a symbol of identity verification.

Whilst Dorsey did not say anything specific on how the new system would look and work, Gasca hinted that it may seek to increase context, which could help users to interpret their tweets.

It could be some time until all users are given the blue tick, as Dorsey stated that the priority of the company in terms of verification is centred on candidates for the US Presidential election of 2020 to ensure credibility in the run-up to the event.

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