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On What Basis Does Twitter Verify Accounts?

Twitter answers the frequently asked questions on its verification program.

Updated
Tech and Auto
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Twitter  hosted a conversation with select media outlets and debunked all the myths regarding the verification program.</p></div>
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The new verification policy launched by Twitter has been questioned by journalists and politicians around the globe who have alleged that it is 'biased' and is only verifying accounts on the basis of personal likes and dislikes rather than any 'algorithm' as it claims.

In a bid to clear all the doubts, Twitter on Wednesday, 8 June, hosted a space conversation with select media outlets and debunked all the myths regarding the verification program.

The conversation was hosted by B Byrne and Ryan Collado, who are responsible for the product, and Sarah Husain , who helps write the policy at Twitter.

Twitter responded to the most frequently asked questions on its verification program.

Do I get special treatment if my account is verified?

Verified accounts get the blue tick on their profile, but they’re not getting special treatment in terms of promotion of their content or anything like that. They’re also accountable to the same rules as every other account. There’s nothing special in terms of exemption from the rules. Verification is just one part of our work to help people understand who they’re interacting with on Twitter. It’s not meant to be a special privilege.

I can't see the verification request on the app despite it having launched over a month ago?

As of today, we've rolled out the application to roughly 50 percent of the customers since its launch, we've captured a tonne of feedback along the way and we're currently in the process of addressing several known issues, a lot of which we’ll be talking about today, before resuming rollout.

We appreciate your patience, and are continuing to work through some of the known issues taking your feedback into account. Everyone should have access to the application in the very near future.

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I am a journalist from a smaller publication and I report on local issues. Am I qualified for a verified blue badge?

There's two issues worth talking about here. The first is that a lot of journalists have been getting rejected in their verification applications because of technical issues or small problems with their application, not because they're not notable.

In particular, in the policy we do require that journalists link to the publication in their bio. A lot of journalists don't have the link in their bio and that results in rejection.

We do require the journalists to be writing for organisations that are verified on Twitter, so it is important to make sure that the publisher or outlet gets verified before the journalists themselves. Of course, if they're writing as a freelance writer, they can be sharing links from multiple different sources that they're writing for, but if the outlet itself isn't notable then we don't consider the journalists’ writing port notable.

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Can I purchase verification through external agents?

Selling or purchasing verification is against our policy. We do not authorise any external agents or individuals to sell verification on Twitter. We encourage people to directly apply through the verification application process available on the Twitter app.

As we continue learning and getting feedback from our users, we’ll continue our efforts in making sure that the only way for people to get verified is through the proper-official channels. If you see someone claiming they have purchased verification, please report it to us.

I use a pseudo name for my Twitter account. How can I get verified?

Many people using different names are verified, and often have pseudonyms online. However, if you provide an official email address and an official website which states your pseudonym, you can get verified without any issues.

I work in a government agency, we do not have a URL/domain for email, can my account be verified?

In order to verify an organisation, we need to make sure the account is actually representing that organisation and is owned by someone at that organisation.

We need to cross reference that information somewhere and we landed on an official website that lists the account or official email verification. We completely understand that for anonymity or safety reasons, those authenticity methods aren’t always possibilities.

We are working on a way to solve this problem as we hear from folks and learn more but in the interim, we have to err on the side of verifying accounts we can prove the authenticity of. Doesn’t mean your account won’t be verifiable in the future, just means we ask for your patience while we figure out a way forward that doesn’t impact the trust of verified accounts.

My verification request was rejected, without any specific reason. Why?

We are working on this. In fact, we are starting to include more information in our email communication to the account holder about why a certain request was denied. We are also looking to optimise application access, and are thinking about how to provide more information in the process flow in the app, but are starting with email.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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