The social network had officially declared the suspension of its account verification process in 2017, following the Jason Kessler case.
Although Twitter’s verification process aimed at being merely a certification of authenticity, many users interpreted the little blue tick as a sort of endorsement or VIP status issued to specific accounts. After the turmoil in Kessler’s ‘Unite the Right’ protests, the social network saw itself forced to give some explanation through a couple of Tweets:
“We should’ve communicated faster on this (yesterday): our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered. And we failed by not doing anything about it. Working now to fix faster”.
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon.
However, Twitter is still going through a lot of verifying, Mashable reports. Among hundreds of accounts currently going under verification, we find Jack Dorsey’s parents Marcia and Tim, a ‘war room’ for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the rock band Whitesnake. Other accounts such as the Parkland Shooting Survivors and Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady were also approved and publicized.
As stated by Twitter, they had paused public submissions for verification, in order to focus “on a new authentication and verification program. “However” Twitter follows “our teams around the world continue to work closely with trusted partners to verify select accounts.”
It’s unclear what the future of Twitter’s verification policies will be. It all begun back in 2009 when the social network started verifying the accounts of celebrities, politicians and other public figures; continued in 2016 by opening the verification process to everyone, and got bogged down last July, losing its status of ‘top priority’.
However, it is still possible to keep track of what accounts Twitter verifies by taking a look at the @verified account. According to social media analytic tools data, there are on average 88 new accounts a day. According to Follower Wonk (a Twitter analytics tool), Twitter’s verified account followed 13,767 in a 120 day period up until the end of March.