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1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:37 am UTC
by PinkShinyRose
Image

Titletext: When we started distributing special status tokens that signify which people are important enough to join an elite group, we never could have imagined we might be creating some problems down the line.

I agree with Randall here, in hindsight it was a stupid idea to begin with. I'm not sure I would have noticed before it went wrong even if I'd used twitter, though.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:59 am UTC
by eviloatmeal
I don't know whar the sudden fuss is all about, but I've always thought of the "I'm special" badge as one of the best worst features of Twitter: It's a convenient way to immediately identify users whose head is stuck so far up their own purse that you can safely block them and not worry about missing out on any worthwhile microblogging content.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:03 am UTC
by rhomboidal
The guy's beardstache would make as good a status badge as any.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:23 am UTC
by walen
I don't know whar the sudden fuss is all about


I might be a bit out of the loop here... What fuss?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:16 am UTC
by Wee Red Bird
walen wrote:
I don't know whar the sudden fuss is all about


I might be a bit out of the loop here... What fuss?

Twitter created a verification badge (Instagram and Facebook have similar) to let you know that you are looking at the real account of a famous person and not a parody account. It makes it easier to tell which tweets are from, say, Donald Trump and not someone pretending to be him and posting outrageous statements.
It is because anyone can register any name on the platform, you end up with the likes of Taylor Swift having to add a 13 to the end of her name to make an account.
It was a good idea to tell who was who on the site.

But then they (allegedly) verified the account of an (alleged) Nazi.

Since they have a strong policy for suspending people who speak out with hate (even if the hate is directed against someone who sexually assaulted them) but allow many white supremacists to use their site as a platform, including their verification, people are losing their shit over it.

In other news, Twitter have suspended their verification program. They aren't saying why they have suspended it.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:16 am UTC
by StClair
rhomboidal wrote:The guy's beardstache would make as good a status badge as any.


I was thinking something a little smaller. A green star, for example. On their bellies, maybe?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:22 am UTC
by speising
why is anyone anranged about it when twitter confirms that an acount really belongs to a person, even if it is a nazi?
it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:47 am UTC
by Wee Red Bird
speising wrote:why is anyone anranged about it when twitter confirms that an acount really belongs to a person, even if it is a nazi?
it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

The implication is they know that is the genuine person and letting them remain to use the platform to spread their message.
Though many see the blue tick as a badge of honour.
Still waiting on mine :wink:

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:49 am UTC
by orthogon
speising wrote:why is anyone anranged about it when twitter confirms that an acount really belongs to a person, even if it is a nazi?
it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

For those cases they could flip it and have a "not that arsehole" badge for all the other users unfortunate enough to share the name.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:51 am UTC
by speising
Wee Red Bird wrote:
speising wrote:why is anyone anranged about it when twitter confirms that an acount really belongs to a person, even if it is a nazi?
it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

The implication is they know that is the genuine person and letting them remain to use the platform to spread their message.
Though many see the blue tick as a badge of honour.
Still waiting on mine :wink:

but it's irrelevant who the person really is. the messages are important, if anything. if some random "naziguy23452" posts shit, it's as bad as from a verified member, isn't it? and conversely, if the known nazi only posts civil and polite messages, why shouldn't he remain?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:15 am UTC
by eviloatmeal
Wee Red Bird wrote:to let you know that you are looking at the real account of a famous person and not a parody account.

Whether or not that was their intention at the time, the implementation doesn't reflect that. The badge system, in practice, would verify that the owner of the account was the same person as the owner of the account. As far as I'm aware, there aren't any restrictions on what you can pick as your username, provided you're not doing something unwanted such as claiming to be someone else. E.g. if Bob Smith likes the username adamsavage and chose the Twitter handle @adamsavage, he could potentially get a badge that verifies that @adamsavage is in fact Bob Smith. He's not claiming to be @donttrythis, the famous Mythbuster whose name happens to be Adam Savage.

speising wrote:it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

I believe the badge comes with a significant upgrade to the features of the account, such as additional filters and spam-handling tools. Stuff like that.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:45 am UTC
by Wee Red Bird
speising wrote:but it's irrelevant who the person really is. the messages are important, if anything. if some random "naziguy23452" posts shit, it's as bad as from a verified member, isn't it? and conversely, if the known nazi only posts civil and polite messages, why shouldn't he remain?

There in lies part of the problem. It is possible to put promote the alt-right without making individual posts that would be banable offences. For example, having a confederate flag as your background image and being the organiser of the tiki-torch march in Charlotsvile earns you a blue badge, not a one way trip out the door. Some see the verification as an endorsement.
How far does someone need to go to be kicked off from the site? It took a direct racist attack on Leslie Jones before Milo earned his permanent ban from the site. Many would say the organiser of, what has been widely known as, a white supremacist march should be shown the same door. Or at least left among the background noise that his kind produces.

eviloatmeal wrote:Whether or not that was their intention at the time, the implementation doesn't reflect that. The badge system, in practice, would verify that the owner of the account was the same person as the owner of the account. As far as I'm aware, there aren't any restrictions on what you can pick as your username, provided you're not doing something unwanted such as claiming to be someone else. E.g. if Bob Smith likes the username adamsavage and chose the Twitter handle @adamsavage, he could potentially get a badge that verifies that @adamsavage is in fact Bob Smith. He's not claiming to be @donttrythis, the famous Mythbuster whose name happens to be Adam Savage.

The idea is, if someone has the profile picture of Adam Savage and the username Adam Savage and a verified tick, the account has been checked by twitter to be that of Adam Savage (or, at least, run on his behalf with his consent)
Bob could get his account verified as that belonging to Bob Smith if his username was Bob Smith but his account was named @adamsavage. You can change your username at any time, but that loses you the blue tick and need reverification, so Bob could not rename that account as Adam Savage and keep the blue tick.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:08 pm UTC
by Keyman
Wee Red Bird wrote:Twitter created a verification badge (Instagram and Facebook have similar) to let you know that you are looking at the real account of a famous person and not a parody account. It makes it easier to tell which tweets are from, say, Donald Trump and not someone pretending to be him and posting outrageous statements.

Whoa WAIT...those are from him?!?!?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:38 pm UTC
by speising
Keyman wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:Twitter created a verification badge (Instagram and Facebook have similar) to let you know that you are looking at the real account of a famous person and not a parody account. It makes it easier to tell which tweets are from, say, Donald Trump and not someone pretending to be him and posting outrageous statements.

Whoa WAIT...those are from him?!?!?

of course. "realDonaldTrump" - it says so right in the name. i mean, it's not like anybody could add "real" in front of a name.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:26 pm UTC
by jozwa
Wee Red Bird wrote:You can change your username at any time, but that loses you the blue tick and need reverification, so Bob could not rename that account as Adam Savage and keep the blue tick.

Is that true? What about all the verified people who change their name to something spooky for Halloween for example? They're still verified. Or do they get the badge back when they change it back to their original name? I'm confused.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:03 pm UTC
by Ego
If human being is influential/popular enough he should be verified, no matter how bad we think he is. How the hell can it be any other way? Like, let's pretend Nazis aren't real people and we will finally have world peace - is that what Twitter Co think? Ridiculous.
( yeah, this thread is about comic, not about real world, but.)

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:51 pm UTC
by ChakatFirepaw
eviloatmeal wrote:
speising wrote:it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

I believe the badge comes with a significant upgrade to the features of the account, such as additional filters and spam-handling tools. Stuff like that.


Most importantly, it bumps up the visibility of the person's tweets through things like giving them priority in searches.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:11 pm UTC
by EdithUpwards
Verified users also have the fast lane report queue and a number of other benefits, such as being the first to have access to 280 character posts.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:13 pm UTC
by Stargazer71
Am I the only one who read this and thought, "Gee, Randall's taking it personally that he doens't have a blue check ... "?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:47 pm UTC
by JudeMorrigan
Whelp, the googles suggest that his twitter account has seven total tweets, so I'm guessing it's not actually a terribly high priority for him.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:58 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
Stargazer71 wrote:Am I the only one who read this and thought, "Gee, Randall's taking it personally that he doens't have a blue check ... "?

I don't have a blue check. And I also have 140 characters less than Randall. And 280 less than Trump…

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:39 pm UTC
by Felderburg
This article gives a decent summary: https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/10/166 ... milo-abuse

Basically, verification started out as actual identity verification... but then verified users got special features before anyone else, leading folks to believe it was less about identity and more about who Twitter likes. And then Milo Yianopolous was un-verified (prior to a ban) despite the fact that his account was clearly his, which reinforced the perception that verification is about more than identity. This action was remembered in contrast to the most recent (yesterday?) verification of the guy who organized the Charlotte Nazi rally, which naturally lead people to be angry at Twitter and its mess of policies regarding hate speech and verification.

Quotes from the article that basically say what I just said: "The little blue badge originated in response to worries that celebrities on the platform were being impersonated. In time, though, it came to mean more. So when Twitter granted the badge this week to a white supremacist, it was little wonder that outrage followed... People "confuse" verification with endorsement, of course, because Twitter had encouraged them to. By deferring the decision around what endorsement really meant, Twitter ensured the issue would eventually explode."

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:12 pm UTC
by yakkoTDI
Verified ticks? Can you get lyme disease from those? Maybe I should log into my account this year and see if I got any ticks.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:33 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
Ego wrote:
If human being is influential/popular enough he should be verified, no matter how bad we think he is. How the hell can it be any other way? Like, let's pretend Nazis aren't real people and we will finally have world peace - is that what Twitter Co think? Ridiculous.
( yeah, this thread is about comic, not about real world, but.)

The point isn't that we should pretend he's not real, but that he should be banned, according to what Twitter claims their own policies are. Instead they verified him (which as a bunch of other people have said, if you'd bothered to read the thread more closely before sharing your ignorant opinion, confers a bunch of benefits besides simply verifying that a Twitter account belongs to a particular person).

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:31 pm UTC
by duodecimus
Huh.

I wonder why they combined a benefits system with the verified system.

If they hadn't done that they could just sell the benefits system ala Reddit gold.

How does twitter make money? Are they pure ads and userdata sales?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:37 pm UTC
by Stargazer71
duodecimus wrote:I wonder why they combined a benefits system with the verified system.


They're stupid.

duodecimus wrote:If they hadn't done that they could just sell the benefits system ala Reddit gold.


Unlikely.

duodecimus wrote:How does twitter make money? Are they pure ads and userdata sales?


Yes.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:24 pm UTC
by Ego
gmalivuk wrote:Instead they verified him (which as a bunch of other people have said, if you'd bothered to read the thread more closely before sharing your ignorant opinion, confers a bunch of benefits besides simply verifying that a Twitter account belongs to a particular person).


I do not use twitter so I am indeed ignorant in this case. Still, the only benefits of verified account mentioned before my post was "additional filters and spam-handling tools" which doesn't seem like much. The fact that twitter bumps up visibility of verified tweets was mentioned after and yup, I agree, it is real problem cause it does look like they promote these accounts. However, problem is in twitter's ranking algorithm, not in verification itself. Should they just have him banned instead - is a different question. If he somehow managed to tell his nazi bullshit politely without violating twitter's guidelines - heck, let him be. Again, I'm ignorant in this case as well, don't know who this guy is, haven't read his tweets, have no interest in doing so. Peace.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:35 pm UTC
by Steve the Pocket
Considering Jack Dorsey follows Gamergate ringleader Mike Cernovich, who has repeatedly called for doxxing anyone he disagrees with, it's not out of the question that Twitter is purposely propping up the alt right. I mean, this is a movement that's infamous for not only having spreading bad ideas but actively violating Twitter's rules against harassment, and have by and large been let off the hook while anyone who fights back gets permabanned on the first offense.

If Twitter really were being fair in enforcing their rules, there wouldn't be this much widespread outrage. People who a couple years ago were upholding the rights of privately hosted websites to operate how they please "because free speech only applies to the government" would not be up in arms over a privately hosted website operating how they please if there weren't a widespread perception that they're actively abusing that right.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just crazy.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:26 am UTC
by orthogon
Ego wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Instead they verified him (which as a bunch of other people have said, if you'd bothered to read the thread more closely before sharing your ignorant opinion, confers a bunch of benefits besides simply verifying that a Twitter account belongs to a particular person).


I do not use twitter so I am indeed ignorant in this case. Still, the only benefits of verified account mentioned before my post was "additional filters and spam-handling tools" which doesn't seem like much. The fact that twitter bumps up visibility of verified tweets was mentioned after and yup, I agree, it is real problem cause it does look like they promote these accounts. However, problem is in twitter's ranking algorithm, not in verification itself. Should they just have him banned instead - is a different question. If he somehow managed to tell his nazi bullshit politely without violating twitter's guidelines - heck, let him be. Again, I'm ignorant in this case as well, don't know who this guy is, haven't read his tweets, have no interest in doing so. Peace.

Yes, from the previous posts I'd got the impression that those extra features were the kind of thing that it would be reasonable to offer to somebody in the public eye, given that they're likely to get a higher volume of interaction and that Twitter isn't their main job, so they're going to need tools to help them manage that.

I guess the de-badging was a mistake, and the rest followed from that.

ETA: Completely separately, whether somebody is famous or well-known is quite a reasonable thing to use in your ranking algorithm.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:01 am UTC
by Mikeski
Wee Red Bird wrote:Still waiting on mine :wink:

That is absolutely insane.

Of all the sites online, you would think the one named twitter would be able to positively identify a wee red bird.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:21 am UTC
by gmalivuk
Ego wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Instead they verified him (which as a bunch of other people have said, if you'd bothered to read the thread more closely before sharing your ignorant opinion, confers a bunch of benefits besides simply verifying that a Twitter account belongs to a particular person).


I do not use twitter so I am indeed ignorant in this case. Still, the only benefits of verified account mentioned before my post was "additional filters and spam-handling tools" which doesn't seem like much. The fact that twitter bumps up visibility of verified tweets was mentioned after and yup, I agree, it is real problem cause it does look like they promote these accounts. However, problem is in twitter's ranking algorithm, not in verification itself. Should they just have him banned instead - is a different question. If he somehow managed to tell his nazi bullshit politely without violating twitter's guidelines - heck, let him be. Again, I'm ignorant in this case as well, don't know who this guy is, haven't read his tweets, have no interest in doing so. Peace.

So you don't know how Twitter works and you don't know anything about the Nazi in question but you didn't see how either of those big fat chunks of relevant ignorance should perhaps give you pause before sharing your wisdom with us?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:26 am UTC
by Soupspoon
gmalivuk wrote:So you don't know how Twitter works and you don't know anything about the Nazi in question but you didn't see how either of those big fat chunks of relevant ignorance should perhaps give you pause before sharing your wisdom with us?

You make them sound like a prime candidate for Twitterdom!

:P

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:25 am UTC
by eviloatmeal
duodecimus wrote:How does twitter make money?

They don't

But yes, the idea is to serve ads to users.

Personally, their approach of injecting ads into your timeline disguised as tweets just doesn't go over well. Twitter is a communication medium, and the ads feel a bit like being interrupted by a telemarketer while talking on the phone.

Nothing a bit of {display: none;} doesn't fix, though.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:18 pm UTC
by wumpus
eviloatmeal wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:to let you know that you are looking at the real account of a famous person and not a parody account.

Whether or not that was their intention at the time, the implementation doesn't reflect that. The badge system, in practice, would verify that the owner of the account was the same person as the owner of the account. As far as I'm aware, there aren't any restrictions on what you can pick as your username, provided you're not doing something unwanted such as claiming to be someone else. E.g. if Bob Smith likes the username adamsavage and chose the Twitter handle @adamsavage, he could potentially get a badge that verifies that @adamsavage is in fact Bob Smith. He's not claiming to be @donttrythis, the famous Mythbuster whose name happens to be Adam Savage.

speising wrote:it's not a "most valuable member" badge or anything.

I believe the badge comes with a significant upgrade to the features of the account, such as additional filters and spam-handling tools. Stuff like that.


You seem to have missed the whole point of the cartoon. The final step involves someone at twitter verifying this and personally blessing you with a privileged account. And one of the reasons it is controversial is that he would have a much easier time getting @adamsavage identifying as Bob Smith if he [Bob Smith] was famous for spewing Nazi propaganda and leading murderers.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:15 am UTC
by Eternal Density
Strangely the only person I follow who is verified isn't even a person, but a charity, @DesertBus.
EdithUpwards wrote:Verified users also have the fast lane report queue and a number of other benefits, such as being the first to have access to 280 character posts.

The latter doesn't mean anything now, since it's universally inflicted upon us all.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:21 pm UTC
by Wee Red Bird
jozwa wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:You can change your username at any time, but that loses you the blue tick and need reverification, so Bob could not rename that account as Adam Savage and keep the blue tick.

Is that true? What about all the verified people who change their name to something spooky for Halloween for example? They're still verified. Or do they get the badge back when they change it back to their original name? I'm confused.

A few years ago I helped one blue tick owner who regularly changed her name and didn't realise she needed to get herself reverified to get it back.
I expect they have a fast track these days but hopefully not fully automated to make sure you aren't pulling any shenanigans.

Mikeski wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:Still waiting on mine :wink:

That is absolutely insane.

Of all the sites online, you would think the one named twitter would be able to positively identify a wee red bird.

I lost a few feathers laughing at that one.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:23 pm UTC
by Stargazer71
gmalivuk wrote:So you don't know how Twitter works and you don't know anything about the Nazi in question but you didn't see how either of those big fat chunks of relevant ignorance should perhaps give you pause before sharing your wisdom with us?


Is there anyone you don't refer to as a Nazi anymore?

Looking at Jason Kessler's Wikipedia page, I see him described as a white nationalist, an alt-right activist, a prominent organizer of the Unite the Right rally, an ardent supporter of a Robert E. Lee statue, and (ironically) a former member of the Occupy movement and Obama supporter.

CTRL-F for "Nazi," however, shows no results.

Are you referring to a source that Wikipedia hasn't incorporated, or are you just lazy?

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:42 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
When Nazis call themselves alt-right white nationalists, they don't stop being Nazis.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:28 pm UTC
by chenille
Stargazer71 wrote:Looking at Jason Kessler's Wikipedia page, I see him described as a white nationalist, an alt-right activist, a prominent organizer of the Unite the Right rally...

And following those first three links it says that white nationalism takes "ideas from social Darwinism and Nazism"; that alt-right was initially promoted as a term to "disguise overt racism, white supremacism, neo-fascism and neo-Nazism", with beliefs "frequently overlapping with Neo-Nazism"; and that the Unite the Right rally "included white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and various militias". This is really not much of a reach.

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:36 pm UTC
by jewish_scientist
StClair wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:The guy's beardstache would make as good a status badge as any.


I was thinking something a little smaller. A green star, for example. On their bellies, maybe?

Nice reference. One of his best stories in my mind.

Maybe instead of giving a badge to people who have been verified, they should ban the accounts of anyone who is discovered to not be who they claim.