Twitter Plans to Open Verification to Everyone
Twitter‘s coveted blue check will be showing up more frequently with the platform’s plans to make verification easier. During a 47-minute livestream on Periscope this past Thursday, Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey stated, “The intention is to open verification to everyone and to do it in a way that is 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 and imply any bias on our part.”
He also touches upon how the verification process is “very broken” in part because some people have seen the badge as an endorsement from the company rather than as an identity verification benchmark. Twitter suspended its verification process late last year after users criticized the platform for granting the badge to divisive figures, notably Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white supremacist rally that led to violence in Charlottesville last summer. The problem is the public tends to interpret a blue checkmark as a would-be seal of approval from Twitter, which it’s decidedly not. Users “think of it as credibility, like Twitter stands behind this person,” said product management director David Gasca.
For the time being, accounts will be considered for verification “if it is determined to be an account of public interest.” The expansion of the verification system would roll out in stages, Dorsey said. People running for office in upcoming U.S. elections would take priority, he stated, to prevent users from impersonating candidates and to boost credibility.