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Election Integrity Forces Twitter to Delay Account Verification Process

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also acknowledged that the system "needs a complete reboot"

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Twitter
Twitter confirms third-party involvement in crypto hackings. Pixabay

Looming elections in Pakistan, the US, Brazil and India have forced Twitter to shelve its public account verification programme as the micro-blogging platform is busy tackling the spread of fake news and misinformation, the company said on Wednesday.

Twitter “does not presently have the bandwidth” to overhaul its verification system and provide a blue checkmark to true accounts, said Kayvon Beykpour, Product Head, in a series of tweets.

“We’ve heard some questions recently about the status of verification on Twitter, so wanted to address directly. Updating our verification programme isn’t a top priority for us right now (election integrity is),” Beykpour said.

“I don’t believe we have the bandwidth to address this holistically without coming at the cost of other priorities and distracting the team,” Beykpour added.

Pakistan goes to the polls on July 25, Brazil in October, the US mid-term in November and India early next year.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter in November paused public verification because it wanted to address the issue that verifying the authenticity of an account was being conflated with endorsement.

“Our intention was to hit the brakes until we had a fix across policy/enforcement/product.

“Though we’ve made a lot of progress towards a holistic solution, the truth is that this work is still incomplete and we’re choosing not to prioritise it just now,” Beykpour noted.

Also Read: Twitter Suspends 2 Accounts Linked to Russian Intelligence After Hacking Indictment

Twitter is currently focused on information quality ahead of the elections.

“This focus will help us move faster on what we think is most important. After we make more progress, we plan to address Verification,” the Twitter product head said.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also acknowledged that the system “needs a complete reboot”. (IANS)

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Jack Dorsey Admits Twitter Makes it Easy to Abuse Others

Twitter last year said that making the platform free of abuse, spam and other things that distract from the public conversation is its top priority

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Twitter, India
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

Admitting that Twitter makes it “super easy to harass and abuse others”, CEO of the micrblogging platform Jack Dorsey has said that addressing the issue in a systematic way is his biggest worry.

The platform is relying more on Machine Learning (ML) to identify abusive tweets as opposed to having people individually report them, Dorsey said in his TED talk this week, Business Insider reported.

“We have seen abuse, we have seen harassment, we have seen manipulation, automation, human coordination, misinformation,” Dorsey was quoted as saying.

“These are dynamics that we were not expecting 13 years ago.”

Dorsey also lamented that the system places undue weight on followers and likes.

“Right now the system makes it super easy to harass and abuse others,” he said, while adding that Twitter has created a “pretty terrible situation” for women.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

As part of the efforts to make its platform appear less toxic, Twitter this week also announced that it is planning to give people an option to hide replies to their tweets, thereby giving users more control over the nature of conversation they would like to have on the platform.

“Starting in June, we’ll be experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving them an option to hide replies to their Tweets,” Donald Hicks, Vice President, Twitter Service and David Gasca, Twitter’s Senior Director, Product Management, Health, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

While the feature has the potential to make trolls invisible, it could make it difficult for users to correct wrong statements made by others.

Also Read- 4 of 11 Tesla Board Members to Step Down by 2020

Other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram already give users much more power in terms of dealing with the comments to their posts, including the option to delete them.

Twitter last year said that making the platform free of abuse, spam and other things that distract from the public conversation is its top priority. (IANS)