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16 Apr, 2019 11:28

Twitter quietly gives blue tick to Jack Dorsey’s mom despite account verification ‘pause’

Twitter quietly gives blue tick to Jack Dorsey’s mom despite account verification ‘pause’

Despite announcing it was ‘pausing’ its verification process in 2017, Twitter actually continued to secretly dole out blue ticks to Jack Dorsey’s parents and some 100,000 other users.

Twitter suspended its verification process in 2017 after it faced a backlash for verifying Jason Kessler, who organized the Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville. “Our verified account program is currently on hold. We are not accepting any new requests at this time,” it explains in its FAQ page.

However, Mashable reports Twitter is still verifying a large number of users, including the band Whitesnake, a ‘war room’ for US President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, and Dorsey’s parents Marcia and Tim Dorsey. The Parkland shooting survivors, and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have also been verified, but those were publicized at the time they were approved.  

“We have paused public submissions for verification while we focus on a new authentication and verification program,” a Twitter said in a statement. “However, our teams around the world continue to work closely with trusted partners to verify select accounts.”

It is possible to see what accounts Twitter is verifying by looking at its @verified account, which follows all new verified users. Some recent new follows include a number of journalists, politicians, government ministries, museums, Fruit Roll Ups, a number of singers, a Saudi port, and one peculiar account with no photo or tweets and 11 followers called RedHearse.

Also on rt.com 'We were way too aggressive': Twitter CEO admits conservatives were targeted

Data from social media analytics tools like Social Rank, Social Blade and FollowerWonk show Twitter regularly verifying accounts, with Social Blade data showing it verifies an average of 88 new accounts a day. Twitter’s verified account followed 13,767 in a 120 day period up to the end of March, according to Follower Wonk.

When Twitter first started verifying accounts in 2009 it was mostly for celebrities and public figures. In 2016, it announced it was opening the process so anyone could apply to be verified. Last July, Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour said it was pausing work on fixing its verification process and said that it wasn’t “a top priority for us right now.”

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