Hot off the heel of the Jason Kessler controversy, Twitter has made some changes to the way their blue tick verification works.
These changes saw a number of accounts lose their blue tick in the last few days. Most of those that had the tick removed were from the far right and were the types that generally promoted bigotry and hate speech. This removal was not enough for some commentators who questioned why Twitter didn’t completely remove the accounts (or at the very least, suspend them). However, Twitter has explained all.
The changes to the blue tick amount to extending the behavioural rules to include offline activity. From Twitter’s perspective, they want to ensure they do not appear to be endorsing an individual by verifying them. I know this sounds crazy (a verification is clearly not an endorsement), however, media, commentators and a large number of celebrities do not seem to be able to get their heads around this. So to combat it, Twitter needs a right of refusal for the process.
The reason why they don’t just delete or suspend the accounts for their offline behaviour is a little more nuanced. Essentially, Twitter does not want to get into a “this is right, this is wrong” debate. If an individual uses the platform in an appropriate way and does not break any of the rules, then they (despite what we think of their deplorable lifestyles) deserve to be there.
It’s simple really.
So the long and the short of this article is simple, don’t misbehave offline if you want to keep your blue tick verification. In other words, just be good!