Twitter To Relaunch Verification Scheme In 2021

Twitter is to launch a new policy next year of how users are ‘verified’ on the micro blogging platform.

The verification process, whereby Twitter users gain a blue tick symbol, is typically used for the accounts of prominent people, celebrities or well known organisations.

Twitter in a blog post said that it had paused its public verification program three years ago “after hearing feedback that it felt arbitrary and confusing to many people.”

Verification process

“A year later, we deprioritized this work further to focus on protecting the integrity of the public conversation around critical moments like the 2020 US election,” it added. “Since then, we haven’t been clear about who can become verified and when, why an account might be unverified, or what it means to be verified.”

So Twitter decided that it would share its plans to “to revamp how people can identify themselves on Twitter, starting with verification and asking the public to share feedback on a draft of our new verification policy.”

“We plan to relaunch verification, including a new public application process, in early 2021,” it said. “But first, we need to update our verification policy with your help. This policy will lay the foundation for future improvements by defining what verification means, who is eligible for verification and why some accounts might lose verification to ensure the process is more equitable.”

Twitter is beginning by more clearly defining some of the core types of Notable Accounts that are served by verification. To receive the blue badge, the account must be notable and active, it said.

This means that accounts listed below, can apply for the blue check mark:

  • Government
  • Companies, Brands and Non- Profit Organisations
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Activists, Organisers, and Other Influential Individuals

Twitter said that it is also tightening up its criteria to “automatically remove verification from an account if, for example, it’s inactive or if the profile is incomplete, as well as grounds to deny or remove verification from certain qualified accounts that are found to be in repeated violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Removing ticks

The platform warned it plans to start by automatically removing badges from accounts that are inactive or have incomplete profiles to help streamline its work, and will expand this going forward.

“We know we can’t solve verification with a new policy alone – and that this initial policy won’t cover every case for being verified – but it is a critical first step in helping us provide more transparency and fairer standards for verification on Twitter as we reprioritize this work.”

Twitter aims to introduce the final policy on 17 December.

Last week Twitter launched its tweets that disappear (so called ‘fleets’) to its users worldwide, after it had trialed it in selected countries earlier in the year.

But that launch was not without its issues, with some users complaining that Fleets were still available after the 24 hour period, when they were supposed to be removed.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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