Julian Assange kinda, maybe wants to be verified.
Fine, whatever. Julian Assange didn’t want to be verified anyway.
He does, however, seem a little p*ssed at Twitter. Calling himself a "deplorable," the WikiLeaks founder tweeted Thursday that the social media platform has a "binary class system with proximity to power represented by ‘blue tick’ insignia."
Twitter typically verifies celebrities and accounts "determined to be of public interest" with a tick. The process used to be invite-only, but anyone, including controversial Australians apparently, has been able to apply online since mid-2016.
You might think Thursday’s rant suggests Assange doesn’t care much for Twitter’s verification regime, but a deeper dive into his account (i.e. scrolling back about 10 tweets) tells a different, thirstier story.
Holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange has mounted a campaign to get his account, with its more than 112,000 followers, verified in recent days. You might say he wants it real bad.
Twitter has binary class system with proximity to power represented by ‘blue tick’ insignia. I am enjoying being one of its deplorables.
— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) March 15, 2017
On Tuesday, he tweeted his frustration directly at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey along with a screen grab that said: "A request to verify this account has recently been reviewed and denied." According to a subsequent tweet, he’s been trying to verify the account since early October.
Assange wrote his first tweet in mid-February and has since been prolific. It seems unlikely Twitter hasn’t realised he’s around — in which case, what a neg! To add insult to injury, the accounts of his own WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks Task Force are both verified.
In fact, Assange is not entirely incorrect that Twitter verification is a questionable "binary."
An analysis by Mashable in 2016 found that far more men than women have been verified. But then again, that doesn’t quite seem to be what he’s miffed about.
Twitter has been contacted for comment.