Twitter's blue, 'verified' checkmark could soon be open to everyone


The social media site's CEO Jack Dorsey conducted a 47-minute live-stream on Periscope - owned by his company - in which he talked about how the company wants everyone to be able to get a blue check-mark in order to create more equality across all users.

The blue checkmark was originally introduced in 2009 as a way of confirming that famous accounts, such as those of actors and other celebrities, were authentic and not parody/fake profiles.

The current verification process is controlled by Twitter, which Dorsey admitted can unavoidably appear as though the company is endorsing certain kinds of accounts.

"The intention is to open verification to everyone", Dorsey said during the stream. The idea is to do it in a way that is scalable where Twitter is not the one to judge credibility and users can verify more facts about themselves. It seems that Twitter's hope with whatever verification platform it eventually roles out is that users will be verified based purely on proving there identity. Users had to comply with specific rules, prove their identity, and finally be judged by Twitter as worthy of being verified. Therefore, unless they were established writers, creators, or influencers, the average user was often denied a blue tick.

The Unite the Right rally, organised by Kessler's alt-right group, resulted in the killing of a protester by a neo-nazi fanatic in August 2017.

Once Twitter manages to drive home this point, they will need to show how accounts can be verified.

Dorsey stated that he believes the decision to increase Twitter's character count from 140 characters to 280 has helped increase the health of conversations on the platform saying "I do think the more space we give people to think and be critical about what they see and express".

It's not clear when Twitter plans to roll out verification for everyone, however.

"In user research, when you ask people what do you think when you see the checkmark, they think of it as credibility", Gasca said, joining Dorsey for the live broadcast. We're going to be as open as we can.

"Ultimately we want to have a measurement of how it affects the broader society and public health, but also individual health, as well", Dorsey said. It has, in many ways, become a status symbol.

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