Twitter has been having some issues with their verification system. The platform has a history of handing out the coveted blue check mark to some pretty unsavory types (except for yours truly!), so now Jack Dorsey & co. are thinking of making it easier to get verified, as to shake the onus of some sort of perceived endorsement on behalf of the platform.
Dorsey talked about the idea on Periscope during a 47-minute livestream on Thursday. “The intention is to open verification to everyone, and to do it in a way that is scalable where [Twitter is] not in the way,” the CEO said. “And people can verify more facts about themselves, and we don’t have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part.” Am I the only one that thinks this is a terrible idea?
For the time being, accounts will be considered for verification “if it is determined to be an account of public interest.” Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas. 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.
In these bot-driven, Russian hacked times of ours, social media platforms like Twitter have become particularly susceptible to negative behavior with IRL consequences. Back in March, Dorsey himself admitted that Twitter wasn’t prepared for the way the platform could be abused. Meanwhile, Dorsey said at a conference in February that Twitter’s top priority is “overall cohesive, comprehensive health of the platform.”