Twitter’s blue verified badge is generally doled out to celebrities, public figures, and businesses as a sign that their accounts are real. But eventually, the badge will be available to all.
“The intention is to open verification to everyone, and to do it in a way that is scalable where we’re not in the way,” Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said during a Thursday Periscope stream.
The company’s current verification system is “very broken,” Dorsey said. In November, for example, Twitter stopped handing out new verified badges when the organizer of a white supremacist rally received one.
The idea behind the blue badge was never to endorse certain accounts, but to verify the account holder’s identity, company product manager David Gasca said during the stream.
Unfortunately, the badge also became a status symbol and a sign of credibility. Celebrities and major public figures were among the first to receive them before Twitter began accepting applications for verified status in 2016. “So it created a lot of confusion for these reasons,” Gasca said.
When new badges will be made available again isn’t clear. But the topic was brought up when one Twitter user remarked: “I feel that if everyone was verified it would clean up the platform.”
Back in January, tech investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the company should take things further. “It’s time for @twitter to confirm a real name and real person behind every account,” he tweeted. “I don’t care what the user name is. But there needs to be a single human behind every individual account.”
During Thursday’s Q&A, company officials said they were rethinking the “context” around every Twitter users’ profile, like who they are, and their history on Twitter. For instance, the company is examining the role of parody accounts; some spoof fake characters like Darth Vader or Batman, but many others parody real figures such as Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth.
Dorsey said Twitter plans to “highlight” these accounts as such, “so that people know that this is meant to be entertaining and not something that is necessarily factual and real.”
This comes as Twitter has been fighting abuse, internet trolls, and bots on the platform. Last week, Dorsey himself admitted that Twitter has a toxic content problem.