Twitter may open up verification to everyone

While Dorsey did not elaborate on how the verification process will work, it can be assumed that similar to other social networking services, the solution could include furnishing government ID, linking Google or Facebook accounts, giving reference website links and so on.

The expansion of the verification system would roll out in stages, Dorsey said. "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".

When Twitter first added the blue checkmark to indicate verified profiles, it was originally given out to large public figures, such as celebrities. The livestream comes shortly after the company opened their site to suggestions from users on how to improve the platform with the aim of developing metrics to measure the health of conversation on Twitter.

Twitter has faced significant difficulty finding a workable balance between simply verifying identity and the appearance of verification as endorsement. Users had to comply with specific rules, prove their identity, and finally be judged by Twitter as worthy of being verified.

"In user research when you ask people, 'What do you think when you see the check mark?' they think of it as credibility, like Twitter stands behind this person, Twitter believes that. what they're saying is great and authentic, which is not at all what we mean by the check mark", Gasca continued.

In a statement to The Verge, Twitter director of product David Gasca indicated that "The main problem is, we use [the checkmark] to mean identity".

For that very reason, Twitter came under fire when it verified a number of alt-right figures including white supremacists and white nationalists.

Similarly, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been continuously denied verification by Twitter.

Within the past year, Twitter has drawn national media attention and heightened scrutiny from members of Congress over attempts by foreign users to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, efforts to harass and abuse other users, and the abundance of automated accounts that amplify misinformation.

During Thursday's Q&A, company officials said they were rethinking the "context" around every Twitter users' profile, like who they are, and their history on Twitter. We're going to be as open as we can.

"Short answer is going to be yes", said Dorsey in response to the question.

  • Eleanor Harrison