How does Twitter decide which account is authentic and which isn’t? Why did Twitter pause verifications before? What's the vetting process for verifying users? You may have been pondering these questions for quite some time, with no luck in getting any answers! Well, today is the day that you strike that pot of gold, because we’ve got everything you need to know right here. 

media update’s Nakedi Phala takes a look at the new terms and conditions, and what it means for brands and individuals going forward. 

Let’s get into the Ts and Cs of getting your Twitter profile verified: 

1. How to apply for the badge of ‘honour’ 

In the same way an individual or business sets up their Twitter account, those eligible will have to use the Twitter self-service application portal in order to apply for the blue badge as of January 2021. 

It seems like quite an easy process. All you have to do is update your personal information and verify your phone number, email address and relevant supporting information to prove your personal or brand identity. 

When Twitter gives the green-light, you will have to go under the ‘setting and privacy’ tab, select ‘account information’ and then enter your password. Once you’ve done this, the information will show a drop cap, which, among other sections, will show you the  “verified” tab, which will read “yes” if you’ve been verified and “no” if you have not. 

Image sourced from Twitter blog

When this feature is available, unverified users will also be able to click the tab, allowing them to follow prompts to have their accounts verified. 

Who can apply? Applicants will vary from governmental departments and news corporations, (including journalists) as well as registered and recognised companies, organisations and brands. Revised consideration will be given to activists and influential individuals (with certain accompanying conditions). 

Why Twitter paused verifications 

According to the Daily Maverick, Twitter put the verification process on hold in 2017 following the disapproval of an alleged white supremacist’s profile being verified. 

Although the public deems profile verification as a badge for social elites, Twitter downplayed this notion, urging that verification is meant to authenticate identity and voice. However, the ‘stop’ created confusion when the platform continued to verify accounts. The Verge also reported that Twitter resumed verifying accounts of public health practitioners in order to grant them authority to content relating to Covid-19. 

It does seem that Twitter has tightened its rules and regulations regarding who gets verified and is rolling out this feature with caution. 

Twitter’s authenticity test

Twitter will look at things such as the account’s followers and engagement rate in order to determine whether your account fits the requirements for the badge. 

The platform will also check out the account’s notability, meaning it will consider whether the profile represents a popular brand or if the individual is associated with a prominent public figure, business or organisation.

In an attempt to stop fake or duplicate accounts, Twitter is also tightening up its vetting process to rule out fraudulent submissions. 

Accounts that have been approved under the past rules will be looked at again under the current regulations; if in contradiction with these rules, they may find that their applications declined. 

How to make sure you tick all the boxes

The last important factor regarding authenticity that Twitter will consider is account activity. For starters, you must have logged into the account in the past six months to be deemed active. Twitter will also be policing your content in terms of whether it has broken any rules on the platform.

Check your tweets and comments on other peoples’ content to ensure you’re clean. Also, take a look at your posts to see if they are or have been offensive. If they have been reported or if they violate any of Twitter’s rules, your request won't be granted and only those with successful appeals will be considered. 

How verification is lost 

To keep your verification tick, your account has to be active. If it’s not, then at any given time, with or without notice, Twitter may revoke it. 

It’s also important to think carefully about your account name and its handle before having it verified. This is because, once verified, and you won’t be able to change the name or @handle; if you do, Twitter will take away the badge. 

Don’t worry though, if your account ever is in danger of losing the badge, Twitter will update you by sending an email of changes you need to make on your profile in order to keep your verification. 

Twitter has really done its homework, and hopefully, these new regulations will ensure that whoever gets verified is legit and behaves. 

With this exciting reintroduction of the blue badge, what other changes do you think Twitter needs to make? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Are you loving this type of content? Then why not subscribe to our newsletter?

WhatsApp’s privacy updates have caused an uproar, and as a result, there has been a lot of misinformation going around. Read these Five myths about WhatsApp's privacy updates busted to get some clarity on the situation. 
Image courtesy of Twitter blog