How to fix Twitter's verification problem

Ruptured Twitter verification checkmark
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios 

Twitter’s approach to verified accounts deserves all the criticism it gets. Recent moves to halt new verifications — and even to remove previously granted blue check marks — will do little to reduce the hate speech, violent threats, and abuse that run rampant across the platform. Amid pressure to keep adding users, Twitter’s best approach can’t possibly be to eliminate rudimentary safeguards.

Indeed, the steps will make Twitter's influence on politics even worse. Come 2018 and 2020, elected officials, candidates and even our strongest democratic institutions will face asymmetric warfare in which traceless attacks remain unstoppable. The threat isn’t tangible like a tank or a bomb, but left unchecked it’s every bit as dangerous.