Twitter Planning to Expand its ‘Verified’ Service to Everyone: CEO

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey aims to relaunch verification and make it possible for everyone on the service to get verified.

In a Periscope live, Dorsey said that he wants everyone on Twitter to get a verified account. The company had closed down the verification program altogether last year when it got major backlash for verifying some white supremacists.

The company wants to restart the program and would like all its users to get verified in the coming years, but it is still trying to figure out a way to do so where they could make the process simpler and without judgement or bias.

“The intention is to open verification to everyone, and to do it in a way that is scalable [so] we’re not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves and we don’t have to be the judge and imply any bias on our part,” said Dorsey.

During the same chat, the social network‘s director of product management, David Gasca, explained how the feature’s association as a status symbol has led some users to perceive the blue checkmark as a form of endorsement — which is not what it’s meant to signal.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Neither Dorsey nor Gasca shared specifics on what making Twitter verification open to everyone might require, or when the expected changes would take place.

Expanding the verification program is just one way the site is trying to repair its image and ensure it’s fostering “healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking” instead of “abuse, spam, and manipulation.” It recently announced a new approach to curbing abuse and publicly released a calendar of upcoming safety features.

“We want to be one of the most trusted services in the world, and we know we have a lot of work to get there,” Dorsey said.

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