You can now get verified on Twitter again
Twitter verification used to be open to the public, years ago. Previously, users had a handy form where, if they were notorious enough, they could apply for a blue badge, give information as to why they should be verified, send identification, and Twitter would approve or deny the request on a case-by-case basis. Twitter’s blue checkmark is meant to give notorious individuals a way to tell other users that they were, indeed, themselves and not someone pretending to be them, but the company closed down this form in 2017. Now, Twitter is finally formally re-launching its verification program to the public, complete with a new, revamped verification form.
To understand why it needed to be relaunched like this and why Twitter closed the form down in the first place, we first need some context. Twitter verified the account of Jason Kessler, the organizer of the “Unite the Right” neo-Nazi white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in late 2017, a decision that was met with massive backlash from all corners of the platform. The company apologized while also announcing that they were temporarily pausing the verification program as a whole and shutting down the verification request form, while also saying that they were going to revamp the program and relaunch the form “soon”.
Except they didn’t. Since the form was closed, Twitter’s verification badge was greatly mystified, as Twitter manually kept verifying people on their own terms without a form. Your best shot at getting verified was actually having a contact at Twitter who could flip the switch in their end for you, something that, as you might imagine, is not within reach of the vast majority of people eligible for verification. Now, however, the new form promises to give all eligible people a fair shot at verification.
There are six categories of blue badges now:
- Companies, brands, and organizations
- News organizations and journalists
- Sports and gaming
- Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals
Your account must also have a profile name, profile picture, a confirmed email address or phone number, needs to be active within the last 6 months, and have a record of adherence to Twitter rules. We don’t see whether follower thresholds are a requirement for verification, but it’ll probably be when considering requests from categories like influential individuals, sports and gaming, etcetera.
The verification form relaunch has been in the works for some time, and Jane Manchun Wong, who discovers hidden/unreleased features in apps and does not work for Twitter, has teased the feature for weeks.
I was told by multiple sources that Twitter plans to launch the new self-served Verification Request form next week https://t.co/vI4q63WwJe
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 13, 2021
Giving everyone access to a verification form can help de-mystify blue badges while also giving more people a shot at getting one themselves and cutting down on impersonation in the platform by giving people a chance to show they really are themselves. If you’re interested in giving this a shot, be on the lookout for the form coming to your Twitter app within the next few weeks. Twitter says they’re doing a staged rollout so that they can actually handle the influx of requests.
What do you think?