twitter ceo jack dorsey

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Twitter’s blue, ‘verified’ checkmark could soon be open to everyone

The social network is making big changes.

 

Phillip Tracy

Tech

Published Mar 9, 2018

Twitter’s desired blue checkmark could soon be available to everyone.

During a Periscope talk on Thursday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the social network may soon let all users become verified. As it stands, only celebrities, creators, and other high-profile figures like established journalists can add the blue checkmark—an online status symbol of sorts—to their account.

Dorsey said the current system is “broken” and that the company is working on a new process for verifying user’s identities. He did not go into detail on how it might look. The proposed system could be similar to on-demand services like Airbnb and Uber, which ask users to submit documentation and link other social accounts.

“The intention is to open verification to everyone,” Dorsey said. “And to do it in a way that’s scalable, where [Twitter] is not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves and we don’t have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part.”

Changes to the verified checkmark have been anticipated for several months now. In November, Twitter suspended its verification process after receiving criticism for approving the man behind the deadly Charlottesville riots in August. This led Twitter to create new guidelines, allowing it to reserve the “right to remove verification at any time without notice.”

Twitter explained in a tweet that the verification badge, which was originally intended to indicate real celebrity profiles from fake ones, was being misinterpreted as an endorsement from the company. Dorsey emphasized the problem in the unannounced Periscope call, “users think of it as credibility, [that] Twitter stands behind this person and what they’re saying is great and authentic, which is not what we meant.”

Expanding the verification program is just one way the site is trying to repair its image and ensure it’s fostering “healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking” instead of “abuse, spam, and manipulation.” It recently announced a new approach to curbing abuse and publically released a calendar of upcoming safety features.

“We want to be one of the most trusted services in the world, and we know we have a lot of work to get there,” Dorsey said.

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*First Published: Mar 9, 2018, 8:15 am CST