A blue checkmark on Twitter is seen by some as status symbol, but as the platform becomes an increasingly hellish space to navigate—one proliferated with fake profiles and bots—CEO Jack Dorsey announced yesterday that the company intends to make verification available to all users.
“The intention is to open verification to everyone,” Dorsey said during a Periscope livestream. “And to do it in a way that’s scalable, where we’re not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves. And we don’t have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part.”
The decision follows Twitter’s admission that its verification process is flawed, though it’s unclear when the company plans to roll out any changes. We have reached out to Twitter for comment and will update with a response.
“The main problem is we use it to mean identity, but because of the way it was originally started, where it was only given to certain very large public figures, celebrities, etc., it came to have a lot of status associated with it as well,” Twitter’s director of product management David Gasca said during the Periscope livestream on Thursday. “In user research when you ask people, ‘What do you think when you see the checkmark?’ they think of it as credibility… Twitter believes that this person is someone that what they’re saying is great and authentic, which is not at all what we mean by the checkmark.”
While it may prove advantageous for many to wield the blue checkmark and the features that come with that, a revamped verification system could raise new privacy concerns. Dorsey didn’t detail how exactly the company might let users verify themselves en masse, but, like Facebook and Airbnb, Twitter may wind up asking users to hand over some type of personal identification in exchange for verification.