Twitter has announced that it will start its account reverification process once again in 2021, providing ‘blue checks’ to users.
In 2017, Twitter had ceased providing verification badges to its account holders, even if they were genuinely noteworthy and a public figure. The decision was taken surrounding an incident in which the social media giant had verified an account belonging to Jason Keller, a white supremacist who organized a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a result of this the company had to face a wave of criticism. It defended itself by making its policies more public, saying that the company provided blue verification badges to anyone of “public interest”.
However, critics still mauled this move, saying that while genuine figures of public interest were on wait to get their accounts verified, verifying the account of a white supremacist was not something that should be of public interest. Therefore, in November 2017, Twitter ceased its action of verifying accounts on its platform.
A year later, the social media platform informed that it was putting its work on the verification of accounts on indefinite hold. This time it said that this decision is being taken so that the company could direct its resources and focus on the integrity of the upcoming 2020 US elections.
In 2020, Twitter only verified accounts of authentic medical experts who were tweeting about the #COVID19 pandemic. It also added a blue checkmark to identify candidates running for office in the US.
Fast forward to November 2020, as US elections are now wrapped up, the social media giant has announced that it will again restart work on account verification from 2021. In a blog post, the company has informed people how they can get themselves ‘identified’ on Twitter.
This time, the company has also called for public feedback on their verification process. Twitter authorities claim that this is an important part of their policy development process as they want to ensure that, as an open service, their rules reflect the voices of the people who use the application.
The company also informed that there will be a new public application process that will take place in early 2021. It claims that 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 has also defined the types of notable accounts that will get their verification badge. To receive the blue checkmark, the account must not only be of a notable figure but also active, the company states.
The social media platform has identified six types of accounts that will get verified. They are as follows: Government, Companies, Brands, and Non- Profit Organizations, News, Entertainment, Sports, and Activists, Organizers, and Other Influential Individuals.
The company has also stated that it will take away verification badge from some accounts which are inactive or if the profile is incomplete. Verification badge will also be taken away from accounts that violate Twitter rules.
To provide more transparency and to have a fair standard of verification, the company has asked for the help of the people. It has provided a link to the survey in the same blog post, which will ask for your opinions, based on which it will define its policies and their future iterations. People who want to seek the attention of the company and share their views on this policy might also post their opinions on the platform with hashtag #VerificationFeedback.
The public feedback period starts on November 24, 2020, and continues until December 8, 2020. Thereafter the company will review the public feedback and train its teams on the new approach. Twitter sets its aim to introduce its final policy on December 17, 2020.