Twitter Verification is Back: How to Apply, and a Few Other Burning Questions

Twitter verification has been a much debated topic. While some have blamed a sometimes inconsistent account verification policy previously with Twitter, others have fired allegations regarding how Twitter treats its ‘blue tick’ accounts preferentially. To even out all of this, a new Twitter verification phase and policy is rolling out starting today. Going forward, Twitter verification will gradually become available for users around the world, but in phases – as a result, you may not spot the feature in your account, immediately. However, today does mark the global rollout of a new, worldwide Twitter account verification policy, which will cover individuals of more fields, and also hope to address some of the burning issues around verified accounts on Twitter.

Before anything else, the most asked point – how do users get access to the Twitter verification process? In its press briefing detailing the new policies and strategies behind verifying accounts, Twitter states that accounts that can be verified must be classifiable as “notable, authentic and active,” said B Byrne, product manager for identity and profiles at Twitter.

Under ‘notable’, accounts eligible for verification should be cited by an established organisation, company or body. Under ‘authentic’, accounts are required to fulfil a basic list of criteria that includes a profile photo, a valid bio and other basic details. Finally, under ‘active’, the account is required to be, well, active in the past six months. Eligible users are also required to have a confirmed email address and phone number, and also must not have violated any of Twitter’s community guidelines within the past six months.

The list of user categories that will be eligible for verification on Twitter this time include governments and government officials, news organisations and journalists, companies, brands and organisations, entertainment organisations and individuals, sports teams, organisations and personalities, activists, organisers and “influential individuals”, and for the first time, scientists, academics and religious leaders. The latter category will be included in Twitter’s list, soon.

If your account qualifies basis the above points, you should keep a lookout for the account verification option to appear in your account settings. Once it appears, you can tap on it to begin the process. Select the appropriate category that you fall under, supply a government issued identity document, and hit submit. Twitter states that after you submit, it will take anywhere between one week and 30 days to get a response. The response from Twitter will arrive in your email inbox, but if you do get verified, you should see the blue tick automatically appear on your profile.

With its new policy on verification, Twitter still does leave a number of areas open for answering even now. During its press briefing, Twitter clarified that while it may verify users basis the organisation they are associated with, they will still not be actively assessing its base of verified accounts from time to time, to check their present state of position in their respective industry. The latter has been one of the biggest critical assessments of users who bear a verified badge on Twitter, but are no longer associated with the association that backed his or her work to be verified at first.

In response to queries put forth by News18, a Twitter spokesperson claimed that the company will also not offer extra visibility to posts made by verified users on Twitter. In other words, posts made by a verified Twitter user with fewer followers will not get a wider organic reach on the platform than an unverified user with more followers. This directly ties in to Twitter’s new verification policy when it comes to freelance employees or journalists.

For the latter, Twitter states that freelance or independent journalists may be eligible for verification “if they can provide at least three bylines or credits in qualifying publications, published within the six months prior to applying.” The definition of “qualifying publications” under Twitter’s umbrella can be found here. A Twitter spokesperson further clarified that while it does look at a user’s number of followers, the latter is only one of multiple “signals” that the company takes into account, when certifying a user as verified.

Twitter also clarified that while the overall, general verification process is automated, the final call on a user’s account verification will be taken by a human moderator only. It also clarified that it has a dedicated team in place to handle verification requests, but did not reveal the size of the team, or the volume of verification that may be handled on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.