Twitter suspends issuance of 'blue ticks' with immediate effect
10 November, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Devin Moran
It might take a bit longer to get that blue check mark on Twitter.
The process has come under fire before, with notable incidents in which Twitter removed Milo Yiannopoulos' verification before dropping the ban-hammer on him altogether.
Twitter has suspended its verification process after Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white supremacist deadly rally in Charlottesville, received a blue checkmark.
Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. As a holder of the blue check, I can assure you plebeians that the privileges accorded us verified humans are huge: Not only can I filter you non-notables out of my mentions, lets just say I get followed by a lot of Moldovan DJs. According to Twitter, "a verified badge does not imply an endorsement", but tweets from verified users tend to appear near the top of searches, allowing information they contain to be disseminated faster.
In another tweet, CEO Jack Dorsey said the company "realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered". "And we failed by not doing anything about it", tweeted Dorsey.
Twitter argues that the decision to verify a user is based on authenticating that user's identity (and to avoid mix-ups with parody or troll accounts) and is in no way an endorsement of that user.
Verification is denoted by a blue checkmark on the user's profile. "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction". As a result, verification was naturally a much more exclusive club, typically requiring a much larger presence than might be necessary to qualify now, perhaps contributing to the perception that verified accounts must have been deemed "important" by Twitter. Verifications have been "paused" until the company can resolve the "confusion". Seems like the kind of person Twitter would not want to amplify, but alas no.
However, some far-right and white-supremacist accounts have now also been verified. The badge lets users know you are indeed looking at the real Kim Kardashian's account, for example, rather than the 50,000 bootleg versions.
Top Twitter officials weighed in on the Kessler decision Thursday from their personal accounts.
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