On Thursday, Twitter issues a statement stating that the firm will pause any general account verification because of a problem with the policy in use. The decision comes just some days after the firm verified an account belonging to an individual that organized a white nationalist rally. The rally was held this summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Critics on Twitter attacked the social media giant for the action which they viewed as a step towards giving significance and credibility to the idea of white nationalism.
Twitter responded to the criticism stating the objective of the verification system was authentication of the identity and voice of an individual. However, the critics misinterpreted this as an endorsement of the views that the individuals supported. They owned the mistake terming it as a confusion and promised they would fix the verification system in use by the company.
The verification system in use by Twitter has been in place for a long time now. Twitter used it to verify accounts that belonged to celebrities, government officials, journalists, organizations and other noteworthy people in society. It is because someone could create an account in the name of this people and communicate false information on the platform. For example, one could create an account posing as a certain celebrity and make a false statement. Such false statement could lead to some consequences such as damaging the reputation of a firm or individual. False statements in the name of powerful individuals could interfere with public order.
After verification, the accounts of these individuals and organization are given a blue badge and a white check mark. These symbols enabled users on the platform to determine whether it was the original individual’s or company’s account. However, with the verification of the account of the person who organized a white nationalist rally in Virginia that caused an outcry from the users on the platform, the firm said it would revise the policies guiding the system. During this time no further general accounts will be verified by Twitter as it is working on a fix.