Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton endorsed Verrit, a media platform of atomized, verified facts. It’s a confusing concept, and it has not been received well. Its primary differentiating characteristic is the “authentication code” appended to each, um, Verrit, which lets users check to make sure that the Verrit they had seen was genuine and not some sort of mocked-up internet hoax. The problems with this are many, from its weird ethical issues (the same site produces and verifies the facts) to its design on an insecure Wordpress blog, ripe for infiltration. But mostly, it’s just the mere concept of reinforcing an echo chamber of pure, all-important factuality, as if merely having better information were the solution to Trumpism, and not better policies, ideas, or candidates.
Clinton’s endorsement of the platform is not exactly, as they say in social media marketing, “authentic”: Verrit was founded by her digital strategist and prominent backer Peter Daou. And since then, Daou has been on a fucking tear, picking fights with Chapo Trap House:
And then getting in New York Times writer Sopan Deb’s mentions with this baffling exchange:
Yes, Daou cast Deb out of the garden of Verrit because Deb had the audacity to like a tweet from an account that deigned to make fun of Verrit. If this seems petty and weird to you, you are not alone. The swift transformation from all-out aggression to tail-between-the-legs explanation proved far too rich to be denied:
Meanwhile, no one can stop making fake Verrits:
The Verrit thing is not going so hot, but Daou is doubling down on it all, because that’s how the internet works. At least until Verrit fixes it with facts!