After a three-year hiatus, Twitter verification will be back.
The little blue checkmark next to a name that you see on some celebrities is a perk of verification that started in 2009. You can only get it if the social media site considers you an authority.
Before, Twitter would decide whether to verify you or not. It means that you couldn’t request it. You needed to grow your profile to the point that people would notice you so that Twitter would see you as well.
It was a status symbol. The purpose of this checkmark is to combat impersonators.
But Twitter changed its rules. It opened up its verification process. People with less authority could now gain verification.
As it opened its verification, its power also diminished.
The process of checking accounts became murky and inconsistent.
So, it stopped the process in 2017. Twitter paused it after it gave that checkmark to a white nationalist who led the Unite the Right in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
The company said that the verification wasn’t a form of endorsement. Instead, it was only a form of authenticating an account’s identity.
Twitter said that the public verification program was confusing to a lot of people. Instead of focusing on verifying accounts, the company focused on protecting the public conversation’s integrity.
The company admitted that they were not transparent about who can get the blue little check market and why you can’t get it. People also didn’t know what it meant to obtain that mark.
Revamping Twitter Verification
Twitter announced today that it would relaunch its verification program in early 2021. For now, it’s asking the public to share feedback on the new verification policy.
In a blog post, Twitter said:
“Calling for public feedback has become an important part of our policy development process because we want to ensure that, as an open service, our rules reflect the voices of the people who use Twitter.”
Before Twitter can update its verification policy, it must first listen to public feedback. It will help the company in providing a foundation for its future improvements.
With the proposed policy, accounts with a blue verified badge will tell people that they are authentic.
“To receive the blue badge, your account must be notable and active.”
The company will start with six types of accounts, including entertainment, sports, news, companies, organizers, and government.
Twitter would also automatically remove the Twitter verified status from inactive accounts. It would again do so for accounts that repeatedly break Twitter’s rules. This action aims to minimize those accounts’ visibility.
The company did admit that the new policy won’t solve the verification issues it faced before pausing it three years ago. However, Twitter believes that this is a vital step to provide more transparency.
It’s a starting point for the company as it’s planning to expand criteria for verification.
The company verified dozens of users who spread misinformation on Twitter. But with the new guidelines, only companies and accounts that adhere to the standards will get the verification mark.