Twitter it seems is finally planning to take some proper and much-needed action on controlling the behaviour of their users and making sure that the platform is a more inclusive and safe space.
Although their recent decision to expand their character limit from 140 to 280 was not met with as much joy as they were expecting, their latest announcement just might be a step in the right direction.
Twitter has officially stated that users who do not follow the platform’s rules and violate it will be met with severe action including the removal of the famous and prestigious ‘blue tick’ for verified accounts.
In a statement, the company has also said that they will be working and modifying their verification system to be more strict and vigilant of how that particular user is behaving.
This last Wednesday, the official Twitter support account posted that,
“We are conducting an initial review of verified accounts and will remove verification from accounts whose behaviour does not fall within these new guidelines.
“We will continue to review and take action as we work towards a new programme we are proud of.”
What Will This Decision Entail?
This decision comes in the wake of Twitter having removed the verification badge from two accounts, namely Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer both of whom were supposed white supremacists and Kessler was even the organizer of the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that had neo-Nazis fighting with protestors resulting in the death of 1 person and several others injured.
While it was really bad that they even gave the verification badge to a person like Kessler, however, it is still relatively good that they took it away too upon finding out about his activities.
Twitter has been taking this action against a few other alt-right people who have been spreading hate and violent messages and opinions on the site.
For the time being Twitter has suspended their verification system and are not accepting any new requests, but one good change they have made to their system is including offline behaviour to the suspension system.
One might think that just removal of the ‘blue tick’ won’t amount to much, however, up until now Twitter only tracked the activities of a person on Twitter the platform itself.
The addition of offline behaviour too to their verification system adds a new layer to anti-harassment policies and lets one know that Twitter will not turn a blind eye to a person’s offline activities any longer.
How Will This Help?
The removal of the prestigious ‘blue tick’ that lends an account a certain status as being an important account worth some credibility will be some kind of a public humiliation to the person or account holder.
It will show that because of that account holder’s activities even offline ones, they can lose that prestigious mark and that the platform is tracking whether they deserve that mark or not.
This new policy would be even more helpful in India where many politicians, actors, and public figures are given a blue tick and they bask in the light of their self-imposed importance.
However, recent axe fell on Pakistan’s verified Defence Handle on Twitter for wrongly promoting anti-India rhetoric with use of morphed image:
Image Credits: Google Images