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Twitter exploring letting everyone get a blue tick for verification, CEO Jack Dorsey says

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that the company hopes to open its blue tick verification to everyone one day.
  • The company admitted that its blue checkmark, which was introduced in 2009, has caused "confusion" as people think it means that Twitter backs a person's view.
  • Twitter hopes to change this and introduce verification to more people so users know what accounts are legitimate.
Jack Dorsey is CEO of both Twitter and Square
Teresa Kroeger | Getty Images
Jack Dorsey is CEO of both Twitter and Square

Twitter could one day allow everyone to be verified by one of the company's signature blue ticks, according to CEO Jack Dorsey.

In a livestream on Periscope, Dorsey said Thursday that opening verification to more people could help to make sure people on the platform are who they say they are.

"The intention is to open verification for everyone, and to do it in a way that is scalable where we (Twitter) are not in the way. And people can verify more facts about themselves and we don't have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part," Dorsey said.

Twitter introduced the blue checkmark in 2009. It was initially available to public figures such as celebrities, but has since expanded to others like journalists and bloggers. Users need to apply for the blue tick, explaining why they need one.

But the company has often been criticized for it, a point noted by David Gasca, Twitter's director of product, on the livestream. He said that when it was introduced, the blue tick had a lot of "status" associated with it. People took it to mean that Twitter backed a certain person's view, according to Gasca.

"They think of it as credibility, like Twitter stands behind this person. Twitter believes that this person is someone that ... what they are saying is great and authentic, which is not at all what we mean by the checkmark. So it creates a lot of confusion for these reasons," Gasca explained.

Twitter has also been criticized for the number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. It admitted earlier this year that more than 50,000 Russian-linked accounts had posted material about the 2016 U.S. election.

Dorsey admitted earlier this month that Twitter has problems.

"We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers," Dorsey said.

"We aren't proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough."

His livestream on Thursday was part of the CEO's efforts to improve the company and make it more publicly accountable towards progress.