Twitter, Facing Another Uproar, Pauses Its Verification Process

12 November, 2017, 02:03 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Twitter Has a White-Nationalist Verification Problem

While the literal meaning of a check mark was about verifying identity, having a check mark has also evolved into a pseudo endorsement from the company - a confirmation that Twitter valued someone as important.

Twitter users looking to get verified typically have to submit an online form that requests an email address, phone number and website link to a biography that specifies "an area of expertise and/or a company mission". Kessler, whose header picture on Twitter is a Confederate flag, had temporarily deleted his account in August after tweeting that Heyer "was a fat, disgusting Communist" whose death "was payback time". Verifying white supremacists reinforces the increasing belief that your site is a platform for hate speech. When verified Twitter users engage with other users on the platform, their engagement is more likely to send a notification, and verified users have the option to only get notifications from other verified users. Read Also: Shah Rukh Khan reveals his three vices on twitter: grace, style and playfulness Jason Kessler, the organiser of the supremacist rally, was given the preferred status indicated by the blue badge. "We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon", read a tweet from @TwitterSupport account.

"We should've communicated faster on this (yesterday): our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered", Dorsey wrote. Seems like the kind of person Twitter would not want to amplify, but alas no.

Twitter's decision to verify people who coordinate racist campaigns, like Kessler, is a political one.

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More recently, an applications process was opened up by which accounts could state why they might justify verification, expanding massively the range of people who could potentially be verified.

In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange in London, England, on November 7, 2013.

Twitter's official support account confirmed that its verification system had been "paused" following the backlash.

But the debate around the verification of accounts like Kessler's and Spencer's shows that verification has come to be seen not simply as a marker of authenticity, but as a means of legitimizing the views propagated by an account.

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