Twitter To Bring Back Account Verification System For All Users
December 14, 2020
Article Overview10min read
Twitter recently announced that it’s planning to relaunch its verification system in early 2021 along with brand-new guidelines for users seeking out that small, blue verified badge. Ahead of the implementation of verifications systems, the company also started the process of soliciting public feedback on the new policy.
Twitter’s Verification Programme
Twitter launched a verification programme for users – brands, businesses and influencers – to build a trustworthy presence in its platform, because verification can help build credibility.
A blue verified badge will appear on verified accounts on Twitter which lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. The blue checkmark will appear next to the username both on their profile and in search results, and always appears in the same place. However, to receive the blue badge, your account must be notable and active.
Twitter is the only entity that can provide verification badges, that is, if any account tries to use an image of the verification badge in their profile or background photos or implies they are verified without Twitter authentication, their accounts will face suspension from the platform.
However, this programme doesn’t go well among many people. After getting feedback that the public verification programme felt arbitrary and confusing to many people, Twitter had paused the public applications three years ago.
But now the company is relaunching a verification system with a few changes made to its policy.
Twitter states in an official announcement that as they are planning to relaunch verification along with a new public application process, they need to update their verification policy with users’ help. This policy will ensure that the process is more unbiased, as it will lay the foundation for future upgrades by explaining what verification is, who is eligible for verification and why some accounts might lose verification.
But before implementing and enforcing the initial version of this new verification policy, Twitter is inviting the public to give feedback on it. Users can give their feedback either by responding to the Twitter’s survey or by choosing to tweet their feedback publicly, using the hashtag #VerificationFeedback. The period for public feedback on Twitter’s new Verification policy will last from November 24, 2020 to December 8, 2020.
Verification Eligibility and Ineligibility Criteria
Public gets a chance to have a peek at the first draft of Twitter’s new policy, which identifies six types of accounts that qualify and are eligible for verification. They are:
2. Companies, Brands and Non-Profit Organizations
6. Activists, Organizers, and Other Influential Individuals
So, to receive the blue badge, your account must be notable, represent or otherwise be associated with any of these types of account and/or must be active too. Being any of these types of accounts solves the notability issues. However, to verify if your account is active with a record of adherence to the Twitter Rules, your account must be:
1. Complete: The account should have a profile name, bio, and profile and banner images.
2. Actively using: The account must have logged into the account in the last six months.
3. Security: Have a confirmed email address or phone number.
4. Following Twitter Rules: Excluding successful appeals, the account must not have had a 12-hour or 7-day interruption for violating Twitter’s rules in the past six months.
However, regardless of the above eligibility criteria, certain accounts are ineligible for the blue badge. These accounts include:
1. Parody, newsfeed, commentary, or fan accounts
2. Those that represent pets and fictional characters – unless directly associated with a verified Company, Brand or Organization or with a verified entertainment production.
3. Those who have engaged in severe violations of Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam policy
4. Individuals or groups – even if their activity on Twitter doesn’t violate the Twitter Rules – associated with the harmful activity, or hateful content – as defined in Twitter’s Ads Policies – or have been found to have committed gross human rights violations by an international court/tribunal or a fact-finding mission or commission of inquiry authorized by an international organization
Lastly, Twitter can also revoke an account’s verification badge if the account:
1. Becomes inactive or incomplete.
2. Users are no longer in the position which initially made them eligible for verification.
3. Users attempt to impersonate or mislead people by changing their display name or bio.
4. Users commit a severe violation that results in immediate suspension.
5. Users publish tweets that repeatedly violate Twitter’s rules.
However, note that the badge removals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will not be done automatically.
Available in English, Hindi, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese, users can view the entirety of Twitter’s draft policy by checking out it in Twitter’s Help Center.
Twitter had already begun to develop the underlying technology for the verification application process, though the company is giving itself time to make policy changes based on public feedback.
In June 2020, it was noted that Twitter was in the process of building a new in-app system for requesting verification which had been found buried in the app’s code. It was found by a reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who tweeted a screenshot of a new option, “Request Verification.”
This new feature appeared under Twitter’s account settings. However, though Twitter started granting blue checks to public health officials to give authenticity to their tweets about COVID-19 at that time, the company wouldn’t confirm when the new system would go live.
Twitter’s verification policy is currently being shared for public feedback and is not final, as it can change before the final version is published. Though not everyone will qualify for verification, the company says it’s working on other features that will help to better distinguish accounts on its platform.
Twitter also notes that in 2021 they would introduce new account types and labels that will help Twitter users identify themselves on their profiles. In the coming weeks, more details on these features will be announced.