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Bots beware! Twitter Opens Up Its Blue Identity Checkmark for All to Mark Real Users

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Twitter, the popular news and social networking site, is all set to open a human verification process for its users to prove their identity. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, stated today during a Periscope live stream: “The intention is to open verification to everyone and to do it in a way that is 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,” he said during a Periscope live stream.

Back in 2009, Twitter incorporated its blue checkmark to indicate verified users on the social platform. In the beginning, this mark signified the verified identity of celebrities, athletes, and public figures to keep a check on impersonators. Shortly after, the distinction was extended to journalists and then other users. The procedure for the users to get the verified checkmark was to apply for it with a convincing reason for why they needed it.

But now, it takes a step further by opening up the Twitter verification feature for one and all on Twitter, as it aims to shift the focus of the designation from any presumption of endorsement to verification of the genuine identity of everyone accessing the service. Twitter has been condemned for its inability to respond correctly to the huge number of bots and fake accounts infiltrating the site. Therefore, as this process becomes a foolproof and ubiquitous way to identify the real users from the bot-run accounts, this decision by the Twitter team is a befitting reply to all its detractors.

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. – David Gasca, Twitter’s Director of Product

Previously, Twitter’s verification process had been in the middle of controversy after the company reportedly granted the checkmarks to white supremacist organizers of the Charlottesville rally.

Dorsey further stated that Twitter is redesigning its verification feature to enable everyone to verify more facts about themselves so that Twitter can’t be accused of judging and privileging social status on their part. He also said that the company prioritized verification around the candidates in the 2020 USA election to further up the credibility quotient on the platform for the people to see. Once Twitter does that, it will have to demonstrate how accounts can be verified, as it has not revealed any details on how the extended verification process is supposed to work. To this end, David Gasca said, “The main problem is, we use [the badge] to mean identity”.

For all the Twitter fans out there who have wished to see a blue tick shining next to their name on their accounts all along, Rejoice, for this is indeed happy news!


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