Human, or bot? Twitter may soon have everyone on the social platform prove their identity by opening the verification process to all users.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said Friday that the company intends to find a way to allow all users to verify.
“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 or imply any bias on our part,” he said during a Periscope livestream.
Twitter introduced its blue checkmark to signify verified users in 2009. Initially, the distinction was bestowed mainly on celebrities, athletes and public figures to curb impersonators. Then the badge was rolled out to journalists and other users. To obtain a verified checkmark, users have to apply with a reason for why they need one.
But by making verification more accessible to all, Twitter intends to shift the focus of the designation away from any presumption of endorsement, and emphasize proof of identity. If verification becomes a ubiquitous way to prove real users, then the unverified and possibly bot-run accounts could become more obvious.
“Users think of it as credibility, [that] Twitter stands behind this person and what they’re saying is great and authentic, which is not what we meant,” David Gasca, Twitter’s director of product, said, according to the Verge.
Twitter’s verification process has previously been the subject of controversy after the company reportedly verified white supremacist organizers of the Charlottesville rally.
Twitter has not revealed any details on how its extended verification process might work.