Twitter suspends verification as furor swirls over its meaning

The microblogging platform stopped identifying accounts of ‘public interest’ after giving the blue badge to a Charlottesville rally organizer. Users are weighing in.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Is verification a sign of Twitter’s approval?

Although the company has long asserted that the blue checkmark is not an endorsement, the phrase “in the public interest” and the requirement that users prove they are “influential” have made the designation a sign of prestige.

Now Twitter is walking that language back after it was revealed an organizer of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville had been verified.

Bloomberg wrote:

Twitter originally verified accounts of “public interests,” such as journalists, public figures and celebrities. Many have interpreted the policy to mean that verification is an indicator of importance. The company has come under criticism for unclear disclosure of how verification is determined and inconsistent application of the marker.

“Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement,” Twitter’s user support division wrote in a tweet on Thursday. “We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it.”

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.