Back in March, Jack DOrsey of Twitter said that the company intends to open verification to everyone as it works to improve the health of the platform. But based on a recent update from Twitter’s new head of products, Kayvon Beykpour, the company is pausing its work on the verification process to give its full efforts over to elections integrity.
Beykpour share an internal email that he had sent to his time via his Twitter account this week that explained why Twitter was stopping its work on the Bluecheck/Verification process for now.
From Kayvon Beykpour’s email:
Though the current state of verification is definitely not ideal (opaque criteria and process, inconsistencies in our procedures, external frustrations from customers), I don’t believe we have the bandwidth to address this holistically (policy, process, product, and a plan around how and when these fit together) without coming at the cost of other priorities and distracting the team.
The product team is currently focusing on inormation quality as the US midterm elections are less than four months away. According to Beykpour, elections integrity is Twitter’s highest priority, and that once it makes more progress in this area, Twitter will address the Verification process.
After being plagued with malicious content during the 2016 election cycle, Twitter invested a lot of its efforts on improving the health of the app this year with the aim to safeguard itself from spam, bot activity and bad actors. So far this year, Twitter modified the way conversations happen, rolled out new political ad policies and launched its ad transparency center.
Based on what was in Twitter’s transparency report, which was released last month, the company is in the midst removing 214 percent more spammy accounts year over year. As recent as last week, it deleted locked accounts from follower lists, resulting in users with significant followings losing, on average, 2-3 percent of their followers.
Beykpour says that his team should be able to return to honing the Verification process in about four weeks. If we look at Dorsey’s comments from earlier this year, the company wants its verification process to be scalable, and to proceed in a way that removes Twitter from the process as much as possible to eliminate any bias.