Microblogging site Twitter has suspended its verified-profile scheme terming the process "broken" that allowed many right-wing individuals' account to be verified in the recent past. That's so famous people, like politicians and high-profile actors, don't have to worry about others impersonating them online. The company has come under criticism for unclear disclosure of how verification is determined and inconsistent application of the marker.
Twitter's official support account confirmed that its verification system had been "paused" following the backlash. How exactly Twitter plans to clear up the confusion it created around verification remains to be seen.
Michael Ian Black, who has more than 2 million followers on Twitter, took the company and its CEO to task. For critics of Twitter's ongoing failure to effectively address the harassment that occurs on its platform, the move was viewed as yet another example that the social network is not taking the appropriate actions to police its platform.
The company has also been under the microscope for failing to prevent Russian interference on its platform during the US 2016 presidential elections. "Looks like it was payback time".
Twitter verifies all kinds of accounts it considers "of public interest", including celebrities, athletes and journalists (hi!). "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction". "Verifying Jason Kessler is a political act - and one that puts you on the wrong side of history".
Who would have thought a blue check mark on Twitter could cause such an uproar.
But Twitter's verification system has also become a status symbol over the years, in part because the group of verified users on Twitter is a very small portion of the overall user base. Seems like the kind of person Twitter would not want to amplify, but alas no. "I can understand people's outrage over verifying someone like Jason Kessler, with a Confederate flag behind him". WikiLeaks found Julian Assange had his request for verification denied earlier in 2017, which he called "absurd".