Categories: News

Twitter Removing ‘Verified’ Ticks as Part of Hate Crackdown

Twitter starts removing ‘Verified’ ticks as new guidelines come into effect

Social media, in general, has been under a lot of scrutinies recently. Specifically, in the role, it plays in the speading of news.

As part of new guidelines set out by Twitter, the social media site is setting out its new rules in regards to what you can say on the site. While it is not imposing an outright ban on speech it does seem to wish to marginalise those who use it to spread controversial or outright hate-speech content.

While Twitter may have launched its larger character numbers recently, it also wants to address areas to which it has received a lot of criticism.

Its rollout of this has begun with a number of accounts having the highly sought after ‘Verified’ status being removed.

That little blue tick can mean a lot

It might not seem like much, but that little blue tick next to your Twitter account has significant meaning. Generally speaking, verified accounts are a lot more prominent on the site and can be a lot easier to find or search. The removal of the tick is therefore expected to have a significant impact on the traffic such members have.

With Twitter accounts being linked to Russian backed propaganda, such a chance isn’t entirely surprising.

So, who has been affected so far? Here’s a list in brief of the more notable members to lose their ‘verified’ status.

You may recall that Milo Yiannopoulos lost his verified status and indeed account 6 months ago.

What does the blue tick actually mean though?

Twitter has always struggled to communicate exactly what the blue tick meant. Many have assumed that it meant some form of endorsement from the social media site. That simply is not the case. The idea of ‘verified’ accounts was intended to literally mean that, the person to whom the username indicated, was legitimately that person and not a fake.

While I would prefer to steer clear of commenting on the individuals in question, there is an elephant in the room here. The removal does generally tend to be on accounts with right-wing views. Even the BBC seems to confirm that it is the ‘right-wing’ (extreme or otherwise) who have been affected by this.

While Twitter will undoubtedly distance itself from this. Preferring, I daresay, to point more towards the content posted rather than the political affiliations. It does, however, add to the growing number of question marks as to whether Twitter has become too far removed from its initial purpose.

While it is, of course, Twitters prerogative who it chooses to give a platform to, I wonder if it should be careful as to who it excludes and why.

What do you think? A good step to reduce the profile of ‘hate-speech’? A step against free speech? – Let us know in the comments! (please try and keep politics out of it).

Mike Sanders

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