Twitter's solution to the blue tick controversy? Verify everyone

10 March, 2018, 01:09 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • You get a blue tick! And you get a blue tick

"I don't care what the user name is".

Twitter has faced significant difficulty finding a workable balance between simply verifying identity and the appearance of verification as endorsement.

As Twitter embarks on its journey to make its platform a safer, more productive place for everyone, it's relying on third-parties to step in to determine the best ways to capture, measure and evaluate health metrics.

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"The intention is to provide open verification to everyone and to do it in a way that's scalable, where Twitter is not in the way, people can verify more facts about themselves and we don't have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part", said Dorsey as quoted by The Verge. Then the badge was rolled out to journalists and other users. Similarly, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been continuously denied verification by Twitter.

"We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers", Dorsey said in a series of tweets on March 1.

What will verification mean in the future?

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Twitter has admitted it eventually wants to let anyone get a coveted blue tick on the social media site.

But there's a perception problem with Twitter's blue check-mark badges for verified accounts: according to product management director David Gasca, who also appeared in Dorsey's Periscope broadcast. In November, the accounts of several far-right personalities had their blue check marks removed for violations of Twitter's hate speech policy. Twitter says blue check marks are not meant to be an endorsement but they have become status symbols that confer perks such as appearing at the top of searches. Today the word on the e-streets is that Twitter Wants Everyone To Be "Verified". "All the while, it has to demonstrate its commitment to upholding free speech, while also limiting hate speech".

Originally intended for users to distinguish between the real and parody Twitter accounts of high profile celebrities, the blue checkmark became a symbol of credibility and status - something Gasca said is a "problem".

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