Twitter warns some accounts may lose verification

Twitter is facing extensive pressure across multiple fronts, including a growing chorus of users upset about the rampant harassment and attacks being levied by trolls.The latest case that has caused the company to do some soul searching involves its verification status it bestows on select accounts.

Denoted by a blue checkmark on an account, being verified by Twitter meant the person was “authentic” and bestowed additional settings. But that definition isn’t something the public agreed with, believing that instead it acted as an endorsement of the account. Things are going to be changing, as the company announced that a result of its verification process overhaul, some account could be stripped of the blue checkmark.

On Wednesday, Twitter also listed specific reasons why verification could be revoked. The process of rescinding this measure isn’t new as the company has done it before, such as with former Breitbart editor and right-wing activist Milo Yiannopoulos. In its support article, Twitter listed these reasons why someone could find themselves missing the blue checkmark:

  • Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one’s display name or bio.
  • Promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Supporting organizations or individuals that promote the above.
  • Inciting or engaging in harassment of others.
  • Violence and dangerous behavior
    • Directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism
    • Violent, gruesome, shocking, or disturbing imagery
    • Self-harm, suicide
  • Engaging in activity on Twitter that violates the Twitter Rules.

This is only one of the steps Twitter promises will be taken to revamp its process, but it has to really redefine what it means to be verified and make sure the public understands and agrees with that definition. After all, its verification of Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white supremacist rally Unite The Right, aggravated users who believed it signaled that Twitter was endorsing Kessler’s viewpoints.

Twitter has acknowledged that the verification = endorsement perception flourished once it began accepting applications from users for the highly sought after badge. So now it’s back to the drawing board for the company.

Of course, there are those users who feel that rather than figuring out how many more characters we should have and being able to have lengthier display names, Twitter should focus its efforts on improving the overall safety and experience of the service, including getting rid of white supremacists and neo-Nazis that have a presence there.

Social – VentureBeat

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