Social Media

Twitter again faces discrimination flak as #deleteallBlueTicks trends

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on November 22, 2019 Published on November 22, 2019

Opaqueness in criteria for blue ticks enrages users

Microblogging site Twitter is once again drawing flak over how it assigns the coveted ‘Blue Tick’ mark, with angry Twitterati trending the hashtag deleteallBlueTicks.

 

People vented their anger over how pleas for ‘verification’ have been rejected by the US social media firm.

 

Most tweets were in the same vein. “What is the criteria for giving blue tick,” a user asked.

 

“What is the criteria for verifying a Twitter handle,” asked another.“Disclose the standards for giving a blue tick,” said one user. “For equality!” said one more.

 

The issue began festering a couple of weeks ago, after columnist Dilip Mondal’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended, leading to widespread outrage and allegations that Twitter was biased.

 

At the time, Twitter had issued a statement underlining that it was impartial and did not bas its actions on political ideology or viewpoints.

 

On Friday, users again alleged that the social media app discriminates against some sections of users, while favouring others. The hashtag quickly moved up into the list of top trending hashtags, with about 9,000 people tweeting about it.

 

Twitter ‘verifies’ certain categories of professional users such as social activists, lawyers, celebrities in different fields, those holding top offices and politicians. It does so by assigning them a blue tick. This tick is a mark of the authenticity of the account, letting Twitterati know that it’s an official account.

 

The number of verified accounts is limited, leaving scores of users disappointed. The window for verification is not set, with the US-based social media firm giving no reason for this.

 

The microblogging site has been attracting sharp criticism for rejecting hundreds of pleas from users.

 

Responding to a query on allegations of discrimination in assigning the blue ticks, a Twitter spokesperson contended that the verification programme has been closed and that “inclusion and diversity are fundamental to who we are and crucial to the effectiveness of our service”.

 

Twitter, however, said that it continues to verify public figures who are active in the public conversation as it reviews the verification programme.

"As we have publicly stated on a number of occasions, our public verification process is currently closed. On a case-by-case basis we do verify people who are active in the public conversation on Twitter. For example, we work with political parties to verify candidates, elected officials, and relevant party officials around the time of elections whose accounts will be active in the public conversation. We have a dedicated global process for managing these selected verifications," the spokesperson said.

Published on November 22, 2019
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