Twitter has suspended its verified-profile scheme and described it as “broken”, following complaints over the type of accounts being verified.
Typically, prominent people, including musicians, journalists and company executives, get a blue icon on their profile after proving their identity.
However, some far-right and white-supremacist accounts have now also been verified.
Presumably those with “far-right” views – meaning anyone to the right of your average Twitter employee – and white supremacists don’t have identities.
In a statement, the company said: “Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice, but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance.
An interpretation encouraged by Twitter administrators who would withdraw verification as punishment for expressing the wrong views and withhold verification from people they didn’t like.
“We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it.”
By hiring some serious adults, ones that can tell the difference between “verify” and “endorse”? I’ll not hold my breath.
Twitter has been making a series of changes to address abuse and harassment on the social network.
By that they mean they’ve been enthusiastically banning people who they suspect might be upsetting groups they like.
One thing is certain, if this is how they are running the parts of the business which are in full public view, those bits which remain hidden won’t be any better. And they’re not alone in this: ZMan frequently points out that Facebook’s algorithm which generates the data they provide to advertisers is often found to be faulty – but always, coincidentally, in a manner which favours Facebook – and that if they weren’t a current darling of the political establishment they’d have been raked over the coals by now.
Sooner or later, one of these tech giants is going to run into serious trouble and they’ll wish they’d put some serious adults in charge.