As Twitter gets more serious on abuse and trolling, I’ve given some thought to how Twitter could handle the troll/abuse problem.
As a premise, Twitter has trolls. Trolls abuse the open forum that is Twitter. If you need further clarification, this article is a helpful summary.
Proposal: The Blue Check
I propose that Twitter use the blue verification check mark that they already have in place in addition to a simple option in settings to help stem the tide of trolls that have increasingly become an issue. Essentially, you connect the person with the speech.
The way that I see this working is as follows:
- Twitter adds a setting that allows users to only receive notifications by verified accounts and accounts which they follow. This means that accounts can choose whether they would like to receive notifications from (option a) EVERYONE or (option b) all verified accounts + unverified accounts they follow. By limiting notifications to the verified accounts and unverified accounts a person/company follows, you continue to allow open discussion while discarding the interactions from accounts that are anonymous or meant solely to agitate others.
- Thus, in order to elevate the level of conversation, Twitter would have to be more open with the verification process and allow those who want to verify their identity on Twitter to do so. Verification is the process by which accounts get that blue check mark as proof that their account is authentic.
- Once an account has been verified, it then has the ability to contact any other account unless it is specifically blocked; the way Twitter currently works.
The idea is to connect the people with the speech and while that doesn’t stop harassment, it does at least help hold people accountable for the speech they put out there, especially abusive and threatening speech.
While this proposal would likely create a division between verified accounts and non-verified accounts, overall, I don’t think it would change the open forum nature of Twitter, but rather help people filter the responses they receive.
Agree or disagree? Let me know what you think.