Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Twitter suspends issuance of 'blue ticks' with immediate effect

Jack Dorsey Twitter just said it's pausing all general verifications Jack Dorsey said system was 'broken'
Garry Little | 10 November, 2017, 00:54

The social-media company drew criticism for the process this week after it conferred a blue check mark on the account of Jason Kessler, who is credited with orchestrating the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.

Typically, the blue check means that an account "of public interest is authentic" - but the company has withheld it from other high-profile accounts in the past, like with Julian Assange. "Verifying Jason Kessler is a political act - and one that puts you on the wrong side of history".

"Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered", he tweeted, saying he should have addressed the issue sooner.

Usually, Twitter verified accounts of prominent people, including musicians, journalists and company executives by adding a blue icon on their profile after proving their identity.

A Twitter spokeswoman said that any further updates would be tweeted from the Twitter Safety account.

Twitter announced on Thursday that the verification process was under review and all verifications would be halted until confusion around what the check mark actually means was cleared up. "We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience".

Which is why people got upset on Wednesday when Twitter verified Kessler, a move that, in the minds of many, legitimized a white supremacist. 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. "Looks like it was payback time", he wrote, according to reports.

And Twitter had previously removed a verified checkmark from the account of conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016, before banning him from the site a few months later.

Kessler did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Twitter's latest decision. The company did not offer a timeline on when these changes may go into effect.

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