Twitter to verify health experts with priority

Twitter to verify health experts with priority
Twitter is taking another step in fighting misinformation and highlighting credible sources of info about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company explained in a tweet that it is “working with global public health authorities to identify experts” and get them verified as soon as possible. The Twitter verification label signifies that a profile is authentic, trusted, and a source of truth for an individual, business or organization.

In the past, the process of verification was under attack for giving the blue label to radical groups and individuals. The verification program was suspended in 2017 after it verified the organizer of white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and afterward the CEO Jack Dorsey called it “broken”. In the current situation, however, the blue badge can help people discern valid information in the high tide of rumors and speculation moving along with the viral wave.

 According to Twitter, the company has already verified hundreds of accounts but apparently there’s more to be done. In a message to health experts, Twitter explained that it will give priority to “accounts that have an email address associated with an authoritative organization or institution”, and added a link to the “How to update your email address” tutorial on Twitter’s help center.

The company is working on a public-accessible form to help health experts apply directly for verification. “We'll likely share a link to an intake form soon for experts to fill out to request verification”, commented Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour. Other tech companies offered help in providing fast and reliable information about the health situation as well. Facebook opened its Messenger app to developers to help build new messaging solutions for reporting coronavirus-related info. WhatsApp announced that it is opening an information hub in partnership with the WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP.

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