Twitter's coveted blue checkmark will soon be harder to come by. The social media network announced that it's developing a new verification process and, in the meantime, putting the current one on hold. That means no new checkmarks for the time being. (Apologies to anyone looking to build their online brand.)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Twitter is also reviewing current verified accounts and could remove the distinction from any that don't fall into its existing guidelines.
"We should have addressed this earlier but did not prioritize the work as we should have," Twitter's support account, @TwitterSupport, posted today.
2 / Verification has long been perceived as an endorsement. We gave verified accounts visual prominence on the service which deepened this perception. We should have addressed this earlier but did not prioritize the work as we should have.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 15, 2017
Back in July of 2016, Twitter allowed public accounts to apply for official verification. To get the checkmark, all users had to do was submit a valid email address, phone number, and identification. The simplicity may have been the forbearer to things getting out of hand, the company told The Verge. Many users see a verification check as a sort of endorsement from Twitter itself and the network is taking that sentiment to heart in the updates to its policies. Twitter's support account didn't provide any further information on the matter, however. Instead, it's directing users to the verification page to find out more about the present guidelines.
The move could be a reaction to last week's verification of Jason Kessler, a white supremacist involved in the United the Right rally in Charlottesville. Following that move, Twitter's executives responded to the ensuing outrage, which resulted a stop in new verifications.
THR adds that Twitter will no longer verify any accounts that "mislead people in their display name or bio, promote hate or violence, engage in harassment on the platform, engage in violent and dangerous behavior, share disturbing imagery, or express self-harm."
It may take a while to filter out the egregious blue checks, and it'll definitely take some time to see just how the new process affects harassment and hate speech on the platform.
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