October 28, 2019•292 words
Social media platforms are stating they don't want to be in a position to arbitrate on speech and in theory that seems like the right move, but they are already blatantly doing so with their verification system, so it is time for them to open verification to anyone who is willing to prove their identity.
One of the mysteries of Twitter, Facebook, and others is what qualifies one to receive their checkmark and have a verified account. All of the platforms claim that verification is not an endorsement and they may believe that but it does create a caste system on the platform therefore they are already judging the value of content put on their platform.
The official story behind verification is that it is for accounts in the public interest. Twitter for a period of time opened verification up to the public and was random about who they approved, not even following their own posted guidelines as far as requirements.
It has been almost two years since Twitter stopped general verifications and they have not provided an update since then. The only obvious reason Twitter in particular doesn't want to solve this issue is because they rely on bots to boost their traffic numbers and this would reduce the amount of bots, which should be a goal of theirs.
This is a question that Congress should be asking the leaders of these platforms when they testify. How is it if they don't want to be in a position to evaluate content can they be in a position to decide who is an account in the public interest.
Either social media platforms should open the verification process to everyone or they should admit that they are evaluating the value of people's opinions.