Twitter stops blue tick verifications amid controversy
CALIFORNIA: Twitter has put a temporary hold on account verifications after its ‘prestigious’ blue tick was given to one of the controversial figures, sparking online outrage.
The social media company was criticised after Jason Kessler, who organised the Unite the Right rally that sparked violence in the US town of Charlottesville in August, tweeted on Wednesday to confirm he had been verified by the platform.
Twitter’s official support account confirmed that its verification system had been “paused” following the backlash.
“Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance,” the company tweeted.
“We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon.”
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017
Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, has said its blue tick verification process is “broken” after it verified the organiser of a far-right rally.
Twitter had earlier withheld blue check mark for whistleblower Julian Assange.
Dorsey added: “We should have communicated faster on this: our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realised some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered. And we failed by not doing anything about it. Working now to fix faster.”
Launched in 2016, the micro-blogging website created an online application process for Twitter accounts to receive verified status, which allows people to identify key individuals and organisations on Twitter as authentic and are denoted by a blue tick icon.
This typically includes accounts maintained by public figures and organisations in music, TV, film, fashion, government, politics, religion, media, sports, business and other key interest areas.