Finally, Twitter has reopened its verification application program for the public. It has been restarted again after a three-year break to let people make submissions for their profiles to sport the coveted “blue tick”. Twitter had stopped public submissions for these blue tick marks in 2017.
Many had termed its verification program as arbitrary and confusing. Alongside reopening applications, Twitter has also announced a shift in its guidelines. It consists of guidelines on how profiles will get verified. Additionally, Twitter has also shared a basic set of rules for how verified profiles should act or conduct themselves.
Twitter is one the major social media platforms along with Facebook, Instagram etc. Twitter is an American microblogging and social media platform on which users post and interact with each other through messages known as “tweets”. Users registered with Twitter can simply post, like, and retweet the messages or tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. A tweet had a restriction of 140 characters. But this limit was later doubled to 280 for non-CJK languages. Again, Audio and Video tweets remain limited to 140 seconds for most of the accounts.
What is the Twitter Verification program?
Twitter as per their policy allows a select few categories of users only to be verified. Twitter’s Blue tick mark or badge to users is its form of verification. According to Twitter, the blue badge is one of the ways through which people can distinguish the authenticity of accounts which are of high public interest. Twitter Blue tick signifies authenticity of person holding the account and thus brings in trustworthiness. This will surely lead to healthier, more informed conversations among its users.
How can one apply to get Twitter’s blue tick?
The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. The new verification application can be easily seen by the users in the Account Settings tab. After the submission of the application, the user can expect an emailed response from Twitter within days, but this may sometimes take up to a few weeks.
It all depends on how many open applications are on the waiting list. As the verification is done manually after taking a look at the necessary documents. After the approval of the application by Twitter, the user will see the blue tick automatically on their profile. If due to certain conditions your request for verification is rejected, you may reapply 30 days after receiving the decision from Twitter.
Why did Twitter felt the need to bring back the verification drive?
Twitter had stopped the program, three years ago, to review its policies on the basis of which is used to grant verification status to a user. During this period Twitter has also been seeking user feedback to bring changes to its verification policy. Moreover, the introduction of guidelines to contain the misuse of social media platforms has given impetus to the social media giants to act faster. Among various measures, the IT ministry suggested to the social media platforms to look at offering a ‘voluntary user verification mechanism’ to those who wish to verify their accounts. Therefore, Twitter has provided an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts. It has also provided a demonstrable and visible mark of verification for its users.
What is new with the relaunched verification program?
Besides the application launch, Twitter has also introduced new guidelines for verified accounts. In order to qualify the verification process, user accounts must fall under one of the below mentioned six categories
- News organisations and journalists
- Sports and gaming
- Activists/organisers/other influential individuals
As per Twitter, it plans to include other categories including scientists, academicians to name a few in the near future. The social media platform announced that users must necessarily provide a profile name, a profile image, and either a confirmed email address or phone number. Additionally, the account must also be active within the last six months and have a record of adherence to the Twitter Rules and conditions.
Why is Twitter’s blue tick or the badge important?
Twitter is a social media platform. Its power and influence are immense. People from all walks of life take it up and follow each other. People from all sections of society understand its reach and penetration and use it to connect with their audience and congregations.
Even the government official use Twitter Accounts to release statements both official and unofficial. Recently Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister of India in the wake of an increase in Black Fungus infections in the country made a statement on Black Fungus Infection on his Twitter handle.
Twitter is an effective business vehicle. Check out the helpful information made available by Twitter to all those interested in leveraging the might of Twitter in making inroads into market territories. One of the Twitter-assisted success story so published by Twitter is of Asics.
The statistic released by Statista in 2018 pegged the percentage of business using Twitter stood at a whopping 67%. I am sure there are many such stories reported every day in all parts of the world.
Twitter’s Blue tick has led people to listen and follow authentic and notable voices. It has given credibility to the Twitter user and his/her followers. For e.g. During this raging pandemic time getting information from a credible source is of prime importance. If any new guideline from the Ministry of Health is trending on Twitter you can verify it by simply visiting their Blue tick marked handle. Therefore, the fake information can be easily checked and those spreading the news can be reported to Twitter. It will take necessary actions. Hence Twitter’s Blue tick acts as a lighthouse to those who want authentic information. It protects the users from getting fooled by fake accounts.
Putting the onus on the Social Media Giants
Social media platforms including Twitter have become an epicentre of misinformation. It has become a medium to spread hate. They have always been asked how their platforms handle fake news and its most damaging consequences. All this came to a point when Facebook, Twitter and Google CEO’s were called to the US senate hearing for addressing the issue of misinformation. The Indian government has also framed new rules to hold social media platforms accountable. All this have tightened the noose around these giants. Since then these giants have taken numerous measures to keep a check on fake news.
How can one lose Twitter’s blue tick or badge?
Many users have lost the Blue tick mark as they have failed to keep in accordance with the Twitter Terms of Service. Twitter may remove the blue verified tick mark and verified status of a Twitter account at any time and without any notice.
Below mentioned are some ways by which you can lose your blue tick mark
In case you change your account name (@handle), or if your account becomes dormant or is incomplete, or if you are no longer in the position, you initially were verified for – for example, an elected government official who exits the office etc. Twitter may also remove the blue badge from accounts of habitual offenders according to its Rules. This includes:
- Impersonation or Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing your display, name, etc.
- Severe violations as per Twitter’s Policy resulting in immediate account suspension.
- Repeat violations in Tweets may include but not restricted to:
- Hateful conduct
- Abusive behaviour
- Glorification of violence
- Civic integrity policy
- Private information policy
- Platform manipulation and spam policy
It is to be noted that the removal of the badge, based on repeated violations, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Twitter may also suspend accounts that use imagery of, or similar to, the verification badge in a manner that may mislead the public about the account’s verification status.
The revered blue tick assigned by Twitter has become the aspired status symbol amongst the social media fraternity. It represents a different kind of blue blood royalty amongst the Twitter class. Blue tick verified account gives you respect and admiration.
Companies and brand managers are always looking out for them as they do seem to wield enviable influence in the social circle and congregation of their interest. Getting the blue verified account holder to vouch for products and service is indeed a clever way to market one’s product or service. No wonder the social butterflies and headline seekers of all kinds vie to sport a blue badge to their Twitter and account and wait for companies to line for endorsing their products. The new breed of celebrities with Blue Badge on their Twitter account popularly known as influencers are the new brand ambassadors.
Understanding that a blue tick with their name can be mean lucrative deals with companies and brand, many aspire to attain the status. This led to a lot of arbitrariness in giving away Twitter’s blue tick with gay and abandon.
Finally, Twitter has resolved to iron out the decadent arbitrariness and devised a new verification policy. The badge will help users validate the authenticity of accounts that are of high public interest. Thereby will help in checking the misinformation and fake news spread by people posing as someone else. The return of the Blue Tick is indeed a welcome sign.