I have been on Twitter for quite a while now and y’all can attest to the fact that I am a good person.
But Twitter has refused to give me that coveted blue checkmark. Instead, they gave another white supremacist a week ago and all hell broke loose.
Now, Twitter is taking new steps to address problems with its verification process.
The company, which previously paused its verification program following a backlash, said Wednesday it’s working on a new verification system, saying they “did not prioritize the work as we should have.”
“Verification has long been perceived as an endorsement. We gave verified accounts visual prominence on the service which deepened this perception,” the company wrote in a tweet. “We should have addressed this earlier but did not prioritize the work as we should have.”
Now, Twitter says it’s working on a new system for verification and won’t allow public submissions for new accounts to become verified. Twitter previously paused all verifications following the backlash that ensued after the site gave the blue checkmark to Jason Kessler, the white supremacist who organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
Twitter has also, for the first time, detailed a set of “guidelines” that, if broken, can result in accounts losing their verification. From Twitter’s support page:
– 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.
Previously, Twitter’s support materials only had the vague statement that “Twitter may remove the verified badge and verified status of a Twitter account at any time,” noting that verified accounts that significantly changed their profile settings could lose the checkmark.
Furthermore, Twitter says it’s in the midst of “conducting a review” of already-verified accounts and that it will strip the blue checkmark from accounts that don’t fall in line with the guidelines.
While Twitter always had the power to remove verification from accounts who broke its rules or engaged in unsavory behavior, the new guidelines suggest the company is finally ready to start enforcing these policies.
Twitter’s stripped the verification badges off of prominent white nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler pic.twitter.com/Hy5CPl7z25
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) November 15, 2017
It appears as if this is already taking effect. On Wednesday, Kessler and fellow alt-righter Richard Spencer both had their badges removed