New York: Twitter Inc. is halting its system for verifying users’ identity, saying that the process of giving out ‘blue ticks’ has become “broken” and in need of repair.
A few years back, Twitter began placing a blue tick mark next to accounts whose users’ identities had been verified—a way to help distinguish legitimate accounts from bogus ones. The social media company drew criticism for the process this week after it conferred a blue tick mark on the account of Jason Kessler, who is credited with orchestrating the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.
“Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance,” Twitter’s user support division wrote in a tweet. “We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it.”
Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey also weighed in, saying that the management team should have communicated more quickly on its plans to fix the system. “We should’ve communicated faster on this (yesterday),” Dorsey wrote on his account. “Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realised some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered. And we failed by not doing anything about it.”
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally, which left a counter protester dead, Kessler used his Twitter account to call the woman, Heather Heyer, “a fat, disgusting Communist.” “Looks like it was payback time,” he wrote, according to reports.
Kessler currently tweets under the handle @TheMadDimension, and his account has a verified check mark. “Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter,” he wrote Tuesday. “I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction.”