Twitter will officially resume handing out verified badges to notable users early next year. But the company will also take some badges away. “We recognize that there are many verified accounts on Twitter who should not be,” the company wrote in a blog post.
On Tuesday, Twitter introduced the revamped policy that’ll guide the verification process after the program was somewhat frozen for three years. For now, the policy is simply a draft. “We want to ensure that, as an open service, our rules reflect the voices of the people who use Twitter,” Twitter says, so it’s soliciting feedback on the policy from now until Dec. 8.
Why is the verified badge so important? The blue checkmark was created to indicate someone’s account is indeed real, and not an imposter. However, some people have viewed the badges as an endorsement from Twitter itself. This sparked a controversy in November 2017, when Twitter gave a verified badge to the organizer of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Facing outrage, the company hit pause on the verification program. Since then, Twitter has been quietly handing out badges to select users through backchannels. However, the public verification process was put on hold so the company could focus on securing the platform from election interference and misinformation.
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