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Twitter's blue, 'verified' checkmark could soon be open to everyone
10 March 2018, 01:08 | Lionel James
Twitter introduced its blue checkmark to signify verified users in 2009. "And to do it in a way that's scalable, where we're not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves, and we don't have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part".
According to CEO Jack Dorsey, Twitter has a goal to have open verification for everyone. In effect, verification signaled not just that a user was who they claimed to be, but also that what they said could be trusted, and that Twitter supported what they said.
Twitter originally began verifying accounts to distinguish individuals in public life celebrities, politicians, journalists and others.
But Twitter's CEO now says he thinks the authentication feature should be available to anyone.
The application process to receive a badge remains suspended while the company designs a new way to authenticate and verify users. Following that suit, Twitter announced the Verified Accounts program.
However, the social media platform has struggled to come to a universally applicable solution for use of the verified status.
However, the verification programme was suspended in November previous year when it was criticised for verifying an account of one of the organisers of the white supremacist Charlottesville rally in Virginia where a life was lost. Dorsey said the company's priority is verification around candidates in the 2020 US election, to ensure people see credibility on the platform.
Dorsey admits the site has a lot of work to do around measuring - and ultimately, improving - the health of the platform, but said they'll continue to do more livestreams addressing the issues.
At this point, there's no timetable for when Twitter might reopen verification to everyone. "They think of it as credibility". Like, Twitter stands behind this person.
It's complicated. A little blue check mark can say so much, but that's part of the problem, stated Director of Product Management David Gasca, who is leading a team to rework their verification system. The company, along with Facebook and Google, has also pledged to disclose more information about the political ads that run on its platform.
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