Three years after the company came under fire for verifying white supremacist accounts, Twitter verification is back after an overhaul.
Say, if you were waiting for that coveted blue tick, your chance is quite literally now. After three years, Twitter has re-launched their verification feature. This time around, however, the platform has put in more stringent checks on who can get verified. The feature was prefaced by a new set of guidelines the company released in December 2020, and goes into effect immediately.
On a company blog post, the company describes the rollout as ‘the next milestone in our plans to give more transparency, credibility and clarity to verification on Twitter.’
The new guidelines, they say, are ‘intended to encourage healthy conversations for the betterment of the Twitter community overall. They follow the philosophy to lead by example, Tweet others how they want to be Tweeted, and serve the public conversation authentically, respectfully, and with consideration.’
So, are you eligible for a blue tick?
If you fall under any of these categories, yes you are.
- Companies, brands, and organizations
- News organizations and journalists
- Sports and gaming
- Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals
You do, however, need to have a profile name and image. You also need to provide a confirmed email address or phone number for identity verification. The platform also has additional criteria for each category which will determine eligibility for verification. Twitter also plans more categories for academic figures, scientists, and religious leaders in the coming year.
The biggest question, however, is how the platform plans to address hate speech, threatening content, misinformation, fake news, or incendiary content on accounts that meet these criteria. While the company declined to provide more details on the matter, it did specify that verifications will be judged on a “case-by-case” basis, with a team of reviewers determining who meets the criteria. People can also have their verification revoked if they are found in violation of Twitter’s policies.
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The checks and balance system comes after Twitter stopped verifications amidst growing backlash for giving blue checks to white supremacist accounts. In 2017, the company was criticized for verifying Jason Kessler, who was behind the Charlottesville white supremacist rally that resulted in the death of one person. Shortly after, it revoked verifications for Kessler and other known extremists.
Earlier in January, after the storming of the US Capitol building, Twitter also banned Donald Trump permanently from the platform after years of calls to do the same.
You can read more about this topic over at the Tech Observer.