Friday, March 09, 2018

Twitter Plans to Verify Everyone


Twitter has handled verification quite badly from the beginning. The ideal goal of verification was to ensure people were what they claimed to be. Early on, Twitter proactively verified celebrities and journalists. However, unless Twitter reached out, there was no way to get verified, which meant that in reality verification was just an endorsement. This situation persisted for many years. Twitter also rolled out special features that were only available for verified accounts making thing even worse.

The right thing should be to verify anyone willing to provide the necessary details. And that's what Twitter is doing now by opening the verification process to all users. However, it still retains the right to decide who will be verified or not.

I think wide-scale verification plus the ability to see replies only from verified accounts is one of the possible ways to curb abuse of platform by users and bots. And that's what Twitter is prioritizing now. However, it still retains arbitrary decision-making authority over who gets verified or not. And  Twitter can explicitly exercise this tremendous power that comes from its position as a platform provider.

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