Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017
Two years after writing Twitter Verification: The Social Caste System, Twitter surrenders! Now I know it wasn’t because of me, someone with a louder voice than mine brought Twitter to their knees, but I still feel I had a small part in the victory.
When I first saw Twitter’s blue verification check mark—surprise, I wanted one! Who doesn’t? I was one of millions angry that we didn’t qualify.
So at this point all the big shots can dismiss me. I’m just mad that I am not important enough, right? Not quite.
I began to think about this philosophically. I thought about peasants and nobles. I’m actually from a noble Spanish bloodline. Not that it matters in the 21st Century United States, but I am noble technically. And while that makes me feel momentarily good, I know that the whole point of America was that all men were created equal. Which we should now translate to all people are created equal.
Twitter’s Verification Blue check mark created inequality online. To quote what I said 2 years ago, “If you don’t have a blue badge by your name, what Twitter is really saying is, you’re no one.” “That little blue badge is online gold. It is the equivalent to knighthood; the difference between Sir Robin and Robin the peasant.”
What likely sparked Twitter’s change of heart is an outcry from those opposing the White Supremacist movement. Why is it a Neo-Nazi gets verified when a community influencer (in support of equality) doesn’t?
It’s because Twitter is functioning as the old world did. Not based on achievement, but on some arbitrary criteria that you cannot change. Twitter is the Queen and the blue check mark is knighthood. It’s not earned by social merit, but given or withheld by an arbitrary party.
True equality is recognizing that everyone is equal. And while I might want that check mark, maybe that check mark should only mean that I took the steps to verify I wasn’t a spammer. But, that process should be open to everyone and not to a select few in certain occupations or decided at Twitter’s whim.
When the system works for you, you tend to like it. When it doesn’t, you tend to disagree with it. But if we were to step back and weigh this matter objectively, we would discover that we are all equals trying to designate ourselves otherwise.
Forget what the King of Spain decreed in 1719 or what Twitter introduced in 2009… I am, you are equal. The nobility decreed to me and my descendants means nothing. The verification indicator on Twitter also means nothing. What we accomplish is up to us and doesn’t need the blessing of a certificate.
Certificates, ordinations, knighthood, awards, degrees, licenses are all meaningless. Anyone can create them. It was the illusion that only a specific entity had the unique right to issue them. That’s what made them special.
There is no King, there is no Queen, there are no Nobles. Wish I had recognized this principle when I indebted myself for 30K to attend a university. I could print my own degree from the University of Aaron with an inkjet printer. Same as what they did.
Governments are self-recognized entities that have to win a few wars to be recognized by everyone else as such. Catalonia is just as much a country as Spain. Ask the United States what Great Britain thought of our bogus Continental Congress. The American Forefathers were bright, they recognized that they could form their own country just like Great Britain did. The people make it so.
My professor Joey Lopez understood that. If being published was a requirement, he could publish himself or publish others using a WordPress blog. Anyone can verify, certify or validate anything. It’s an illusion to think that only certain entities can do so. They proclaimed their own specialness. We believed them.