Twitter Account Verification Is Back, But Has it Lost Its Mojo?

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Twitterati queue up! As the Twitter account verification process which is responsible for awarding blue badges prepares to make a comeback; users, polish up your accounts! It’s time to add a little sheen and join the vaunted blue strata again.

As lot many users are still trying to figure out ways to verify Twitter account, the microblogging platform is all set to restart Twitter account verification process from early next year, albeit with few new terms and policies.

Twitter’s latest announcement is consistent with previous reports earlier in the year, which had suggested that the company was working on creating a new verification system. As it stands, Twitter is keen on receiving feedback on the draft proposal for verification from the users for two weeks, following which it will publish a final policy on December 17.

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Using the blue tick mark to verify the identity of well-known and popular Twitter users has been a hallmark of the company for years. While the microblogging site has accorded the status to a select few, following explicitly laid out rules, the verification program has always come under the scanner for been confusing and seemingly arbitrary in its enforcement.

The whole reason for halting the program back in 2017 was centred around how the process for awarding the said blue tick to a user was shrouded in unclarity. A multitude of experts and eminent personalities had also taken to the platform to bring to light how the blue tick culture may be a dangerous catalyst in fostering a eventual discrimination, hierarchy and creating ghettos within users and society, which could have implications for the democracy further down the line. That aside, when the CEO of the company calls the process “broken”, you gotta believe there’s some weight to it.

This time, however, Twitter has decided that the verified badges will be primarily awarded to government accounts, companies, brands, non-profit organizations, news organizations, entertainment, sports, activists, organizers and “other influential individuals”, as long as they remain notable, relevant and active.

Further, the company, under the revamp, has added new criteria that will lead to automatic removal of verification badges. Inactivity is one, while repeat violation of Twitter’s rules is another. Actions termed as “severe violations” may result in “immediate account suspension”, while parody newsfeeds, pets and fictional characters etc. will be exempted from gathering the verified badges.

This also leads to a question of intrigue for the blue tick – will it have the same pull and charisma to entice users into flaunting their mark?

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Verified Twitter Account: Losing Credibility?

Despite all the fascination and aspiration among Twitter users to have their Twitter account verified, the real purpose of verifying a Twitter account is apparently dying down.

Time and again Twitter is criticised for its account verification process. In 2017, the microblogging platform faced intense criticism for verifying the account of Jason Kessler, who is credited with orchestrating the white-supremacist rally last August in Charlottesville, Virginia. The huge uproar forced Twitter to suspend its verification process, followed by implementing new policies for Twitter account verification.

However, in 2019, Twitter was once again blamed for exercising unethical practices by verifying accounts that never tweeted anything.

Twitter is also criticised, at regular intervals, for verifying accounts that peddle misinformation or shoot tweets laden with hatred or communal agenda.

All of these led people to have changed perception towards verified Twitter accounts and the authenticity of the information broadcasted by those accounts. The excitement of owning a blue badge is fast fading away and many users now believe that verification is no more a guarantee of authenticity on Twitter.

Twitter has promised a new improved version of the account verification process to win back users trust. Only time will tell whether users continue to flock for the blue badge, but a process which was created for implicitly lending voice and authority to users should be monitored with the utmost care and sensitivity, particularly with what has been transpiring in the world at present.

Be it case by case, let’s hope the comeback of the blue tick is upon those with the right credentials.

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