Recently Twitter’s internal audits has found that they have given official verification status to a number of fake accounts. The discovery that this has happened has led to a total pause on the site’s entire verification system while they work to improve the ability to detect bots.
Twitter Suspends All Verification
According to a recent report from the Verge, Twitter has issued a temporary halt to its account verification procedures after discovering that blue checkmark status had been awarded to a number of clearly fake accounts.
As Twitter itself declares, the purpose of verification status, symbolized by a blue checkmark, is to ensure that the account with that status is “authentic, notable, and active.”
In actual fact, however, the blue checkmark often entails a de facto endorsement from the platform. This means that bots and other spreaders of propaganda can get a subtle endorsement from the platform if their AI is good enough to pass as a human being.
Now that the pause has gone into effect, those who had previously applied to receive a blue checkmark that verifies their account may still receive one, but new applications will not be considered for the duration of the moratorium. This does not change anything for people getting accounts without the checkmark.
In response to this, Twitter has announced that it will be changing the terms under which it grants account verifications.
It is not clear what this means, as Twitter’s Terms of Service are not always clear, and the choice to suspend an account is often based on behind-the-scenes decisions by internal staff.
It’s currently unknown how long the pause on verification will last.