Decentralization and verification

As the the exodus to Mastodon continues, the problem of verification remains unsolved. The only actual problem at Twitter since the takeover has been the collapse of verification. But Mastodon by its very nature as a decentralized service can’t verify accounts.

We’d still need some trusted third party to do offline verifications and host them in a centralized repository. This certainly isn’t impossible, but it would no longer be subsidized by ad revenue. This would also take extra work for everyone: going to the central service to compare the “verified” username with the account claiming to be verified. This would then be fraught with spoofs using similar letters like zeros instead of Os.

I have nothing against Mastodon and really like the concept of it. But one of the core value propositions of Twitter was being able to follow a public figure and know that you’re following the public figure.