认证 @ashleymcnamara is a form of peaceful protest to have Ashley McNamara verified on Twitter. Please consider doing something similar with your own Twitter profile.
The how and the why follows.
The Blue Check
Twitter’s verified account program is rife with poor choices and questionable decisions. From verifying Nazis and folks that build brands on hate to not verifying respected people, verification is a problem for Twitter. Make no mistake, I know this is not an easy problem. Those of us outside Twitter’s walls have the benefit of hindsight and not having to appease billions of people. We also don’t have investors, employees, and so on. I get it.
Low Hanging Fruit
But, there are pieces of low hanging fruit the Twitter verified account program could benefit from harvesting. The official answer from Twitter is, “[O]ur verified account program is currently on hold.” However, despite “holding off on fixing verification policy to focus on election integrity” some accounts are getting verified.
The policy needs to be amended or an exception needs to be made to allow one person in particular in, Ashley McNamara. A campaign rallying around getting Ashley verified has begun. The first act of this campaign was, James Governor changing his Twitter handle to, “Please Verif y @ashleymcnamara.” Why the space between the F and Y in Verify? More on that later.
A short while passes (a day, twelve hours, 🤷♂️) and I decide to take part in this protest. But, when trying to update my profile in the Twitter iOS app, I got a weird error. From my laptop, I discovered Twitter prevents the word “verify” from being used in the name field. “No big deal,” I think to myself, “I’ll use German, French, Italian, etc.” It turns out those are blocked too. The search widened and quickly I realized Chinese forms of the word verify and certify are allowed. Upon confirming with Yang Li, I changed my Twitter name to 认证 @ashleymcnamara.
When asked by Jay Gordon why the name change, I explained it as a two-part protest:
- Ashley has far exceeded all expectations for being verified.
- Twitter blocks all forms of the word verify in that field in every Latin or Germanic influence language, not Chinese. Seems like a lack of diversity to me.
A Marathon, Not a Sprint
The problems at Twitter don’t stop at the verified account program, this we know. But, it’s a little disappointing when something as simple for Twitter to do is left undone. It would show goodwill to its very active and well-regarded users that are fighting the muck that exists on Twitter’s platform. Fix this, Twitter.