Twitter is an exceptionally important platform, but it’s been struggling massively in the past couple of years because it can’t figure out how to be an open, anonymous platform, while controlling harassment.
It’s kind of embarrassing that Twitter can’t figure this out on their own, so I decided I would redesign the product and write the memo to the user base for their CEO, Jack.
You’re welcome! @jason Calacanis
By @Jack, January 1, 2017
On behalf of the Twitter team, I’d like to wish you a happy new year and thank you for not only using our service, but for passionately sharing with us how you would like to see it evolve with the hashtag #twitter2017.
Today we’re taking a major step in the evolution of Twitter by rolling out verified accounts to all of our users. Verification isn’t a perfect process, and it will take a year to give our most active users the blue check mark, but we think it will be worth it because people will have to “own their words.”
You can visit verified.twitter.com to start the verification process.
We are going to still allow anonymity on Twitter, because we all know that some voices need to be heard without revealing their identity. From political dissidents to parody accounts, anonymity has a place on the service, but as we’ve seen, some small percentage of users are abusing anonymity in order to harass people.
That’s going to end.
Twitter will soon be “verified only” by default. What this means is you will only see users with the blue check mark, with Tweets from unverified accounts being “blurred out.”
If you want to test this right now visit verified.twitter.com or go to your settings and click on “verified only” on your mobile app.
Here is an example of a tweet from the self-admitted troll, Milo Yiannopoulos, whom we recently kicked off the platform for harassment. In this example, actor Leslie Jones is not following Milo’s @nero account, which is unverified and is tweeting to Leslie’s @lessdoggg handle.
After clicking on the blurred-out tweet I can read it and see three buttons: Block, follow and an X (to close the tweet).
If you block the person you will never hear from that anonymous account again. If you follow them you’ll simply follow them like any other user (this sends us a signal that this might be a quality account).
If you hit X or do nothing their tweets will remain collapsed in the future.
Please visit “verified Twitter” at verified.twitter.com to get a feel for the service and give feedback to me directly @jack or firstname.lastname@example.org. On June 1, 2017, everyone will move to “verified by default.”
If you want Twitter to remain the way it’s always been, you will have that option by selecting “show unverified accounts in my timeline” in your settings.
All the best,
Note from @jason: Hope you can all make it to the SCALE conference we’re hosting on November 14-15 in SF. We’ve just announced our first 17 of 52 speakers who will talk about how to raise money for, and how to grow, your startup, including Philip Krim of Casper, Jason Lemkin of SaaStr, Melody McCloskey of StyleSeat, Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint and Clara Brenner of Tumml. If you want to speak about a topic please email email@example.com or go to launchscale.net/speakers and fill out the form.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.