Twitter announced Thursday that it will allow users to request a review, which gives new hope to those who have been looking for the blue check mark that denotes some level of social media influence for years.
Government, corporate, and news organizations, as well as athletes, entertainers, and activists may already be screened. Twitter will slowly offer the application form to other users in the coming weeks so that it doesn’t get flooded with requests. To be eligible, users in these categories must verify their email addresses or phone numbers and shouldn’t have broken Twitter rules recently, a spokeswoman said.
Twitter users have been asking for verification since the company first verified an account for the company in 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The blue check mark that appears on a user’s profile is considered an indicator of legitimacy and influence.
However, Twitter’s process of verifying accounts has been opaque. With no clear path to verification, users have asked Twitter staff and other prominent technicians to help them verify.
“I usually get a confirmation request every few days,” he said Jane Manchun Wong, a software developer studying Twitter and other social media apps. (Ms. Wong doesn’t work for Twitter and can’t verify accounts.) “I usually try to ignore them, but sometimes they start spamming,” she said.
In 2017, Twitter was criticized afterwards Checking Jason Kessler’s account, a white supremacist who has used Twitter to organize rallies like Unite the Right’s in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters are brandishing torches marched through the streets singing racist rallying cries. Twitter said it would stop verifying accounts until it could develop a coherent process for it. That didn’t happen. Instead, the company continued to silently verify accounts, but did not allow users to proactively request verification.
The confusion about the review turned into a hoax on Twitter. In 2020, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey joked in one Interview with Wired These users could be verified by sending direct messages to the company’s product manager, Kayvon Beykpour.
In fact, Mr. Beykpour was not responsible for verifying the users.
Last year, Twitter finally took steps to fix the process. It published a Draft Review Policy and invited users for comments before finally opening the application process on Thursday. Twitter said that other account labels would be rolled out soon, such as an option for users to add their pronouns to their profiles, and that it was hoped to start reviewing scholars and religious leaders later this year.
“I hope it will finally get people to stop DMening me and asking me to verify them,” said B Byrne, Twitter product manager for profiles and identity, of the new verification process.