Nov 16, 2017 - Technology

Twitter still has a verifiable problem

Ina Fried

A Nov. 9, 2017 tweet explaining the confusion around verified status that Twitter is trying to resolve. Image: Screenshot.

Twitter rolled out a series of changes on Wednesday to its verified accounts program aimed at addressing who is eligible to get the coveted blue checkmark.Under the revised guidelines, Twitter says it reserves the right to revoke the verified status of any individual, but specifically calls out certain criteria that could lead to a loss of verification.Included in that is not only the direct harassment or promotion of violence but also being a member of a group that promotes hate, violence or direct harassment of individuals based on their race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or other criteria.Twitter also moved to revoke the verified status of a number of prominent far-right and right supremacists, including Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, organizer of the Charlottesville rally. This resulted in predictable outrage from those impacted, as well as their supporters.But it also led to criticism that Twitter wasn't solving the problem it had originally identified. When it first said last week it was pausing its verification program, it noted that the verification of a prominent user's identity had come to be seen as an endorsement. Wednesday's actions might please those that don't appreciate seeing the blue checkmark adorn the posts of white supremacists, but it doesn't appear to solve the confusion over what verified status is supposed to mean.Why you'll hear about this again: Twitter hinted more changes are coming. "We will continue to review and take action as we work towards a new program we are proud of," the company said.

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