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Twitter suspends ‘blue mark’ verification of accounts

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People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw September 27, 2013. /REUTERS

Twitter has suspended the verification of accounts as it moves to correct a widespread notion that the move amounts to endorsement of individual accounts.

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The giant social media platform said it will get back “soon” with a way forward.

“Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance,” the administrator tweeted on Saturday.

“We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verification while we work and will report back soon.”

The blue mark verification was initiated by Twitter to differentiate genuine accounts from pseudo accounts that are created mainly by individuals who are out to misinform the public.

The mark has helped minimize the spread of propaganda and inaccurate information, especially in the advent of fake news.

The change came against the backdrop of Twitter formally increasing the character limit from 140 to 280.

Twitter said it wants to make it “easier and faster for everyone to express themselves”.

“More characters. More expression. More of what’s happening.”

The social media site used by millions of people has also made provisions for people to use longer user names on their accounts.

“Starting today (November 11), your Twitter display name can be up to 50 characters in length! Go ahead, add that middle name or even a few more emojis.”

Further, it said it is conducting a full technical review of search to prevent a technical issue that affected search results.

“Searches for certain words related to sexuality did not populate complete results. We apologize for anyone negatively impacted by this bug. It is not consistent with our values as a company,” Twitter said.

“We have shipped changes to the English version of this list so that the terms related to sexuality will no longer return an error message in search results.”

They said the changes will reflected in all languages on the service in the coming days.

-the-star.co.ke

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