Twitter knows its verification process is a bit of a mess, and the company wants your help fixing it.
Twitter officially “paused all general verifications” in November of 2017 after verifying a white supremacist. In a Tuesday blog post, the social media platform announced plans to start verifying accounts again early next year. But before that can happen, Twitter wants users to weigh in on how verifications should look in the future. Oh, and Twitter is going to be taking back an untold number of the coveted blue badges while it’s at it.
While theoretically paused, over the past three years the company continued to verify thousands of accounts. This, understandably, led to some confusion about the process. Tuesday’s announcement means that Twitter realizes it needs to delineate a clear policy for what types of accounts get verified, and why some accounts do not.
Of particular note, Twitter also realizes that some presently verified accounts maybe shouldn’t be.
“We recognize that there are many verified accounts on Twitter who should not be,” explains the unsigned blog post. “We plan to start by automatically removing badges from accounts that are inactive or have incomplete profiles to help streamline our work and to expand this to include additional types of accounts over the course of 2021.”
So, while at least initially, the company plans to pull badges from inactive accounts or accounts with incomplete profiles, next year it may de-verify account for other, as of yet unspecified, reasons. Fun!
Another huge change is that Twitter intends to launch a “public application process” for verification early next year, along with “new account types and labels.” Twitter already labels some accounts (like political candidates), but it’s currently unclear if future labels will look similar.
Possibly because it knows the blue badge (or lack of one) engenders a rather emotional response from its users, Twitter wants those very same users to have a say in the badge’s future. The company launched a survey and is soliciting public feedback under the hashtag #VerificationFeedback, with the intention of allowing people to help shape Twitter’s future account verification policy.
So speak now, or forever hold your unverified peace.