Twitter puts verification process work on hold to focus on elections integrity
Twitter's head of product says his team is pausing work on the Bluecheck/Verification process to focus on the health of the app ahead of elections.
In March, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter intends to open verification to everyone as it works to improve the health of the platform. But, according to 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 shared an internal email he sent his team via his Twitter account this week, explaining why the company 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.
Twitter’s product team is focused on information quality as the US midterm elections are less than four months away. Beykpour says 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 has invested much of its efforts this year in improving the health of the app, aiming to safeguard itself from bad actors, spam and bot activity. So far this year, the company has modified the way conversations happen, rolled out new political ad policies and launched its ad transparency center.
According to Twitter’s transparency report released last month, the company is currently removing 214 percent more spammy accounts year over year. 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 his team should be able to return to honing the Verification process in approximately four weeks. According to 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.