DUBAI: Twitter is rolling out its new verification process that allows anyone from the general public to apply for the blue badge for the first time since 2017.
To apply, user accounts must be “authentic notable, and active” and belong to one of these six categories: government; companies, brands and organizations; news organizations and journalists; entertainment; sports and gaming; activists, organizers, and other influential individuals.
In addition to the category-specific eligibility criteria, accounts must have a profile name, a profile image, a confirmed email address and a phone number. Accounts must also be active within the last six months and have a record of adherence to the Twitter rules.
Sarah Husain, who works in policy at Twitter, admitted during a press briefing that the platform had not been consistent and transparent about the people it was verifying and users found the process to be arbitrary and confusing, leading to the need for a new approach and policy.
The process started in November 2020 with research and public feedback surveys, which informed the policy that was launched at the end of last year. It was implemented in January 2021 with verified accounts not meeting the criteria automatically losing their blue badge. Husain said that Twitter recognizes there may be risks associated with the new process, so the platform will continually audit and update the policy this year.
On Thursday Twitter started rolling out the verification application for users. The option to apply will appear in the Account Settings where users can click on Request Verification.
Later in the year, the platform plans to add more categories for verification, including academics, scientists and religious leaders.
Twitter also plans to launch new account types such as automated and memorial accounts.
Automated Accounts or bots are not all bad and can be useful to users but only if it’s made clear that these accounts are legitimate and automated. Twitter is planning to build a new account type to distinguish bots from humans as well as legitimize the good ones from the nefarious ones, said B Byrne, Twitter’s product lead for profiles and identity.
Memorial Accounts have been a topic of discussion for some time now, and Twitter is recognizing the importance of preserving the account of someone who has passed away. The launch of this account type will be accompanied by an updated policy for memorialization.