Twitter is revisiting its verification feature and purging accounts that don’t meet the criteria for verified accounts. To make the process transparent, the social media platform engaged the users by soliciting feedback that it can use in policy development.
Twitter responded by adjusting its policies accordingly. For one, some users told the company that some of the criteria for a profile to be considered “complete” feels too restrictive. In response, Twitter updated its definition to no longer require a profile bio or header image.
It also updated its references to Wikipedia to better align with the encyclopedias’ published standards for notability and article quality.
In terms of titles of the “News” category, Twitter now includes “News and Journalists” and the “Sports” category to include “Sports and esports” to be more inclusive. Digital content creators will now find themselves under the “Entertainment” category.
Some Twitter users lamented that measuring the minimum follower count requirement on a per-country basis “wasn’t always the right approach. Twitter then updated this feature to be on a “per-region basis” to make follower count requirements less susceptible to spam and more equitable across geographies.
Twitter users wanted a more compartmentalized category with some who wanted to include academics, scientists, and religious leaders. The company is still looking into this if it is possible to have these dedicated categories.
Personalities, organizations, and brands that want to have the coveted blue badge beside their username will have to wait until Jan. 20, 2020, when Twitter rolls out the complete verification guidelines. Inactive and incomplete accounts that were verified previously will have the blue check automatically removed.
Twitter’s new verification policy defines a complete account as one that has all of the following: either a verified email address or phone number, a profile image, and a display name.
The social media platform will send an automated email and in-app notification to accounts who are at risk of losing their badges. The email or notification will also contain information on how to avoid losing the badge.
The new policy will also allow Twitter to remove verification from accounts that are found to be in severe or repeated violation of the Twitter Rules. The company will continue to evaluate such accounts on a case-by-case basis with a promise of making improvements in 2021.
Twitter users who wish to apply for verification may do during the relaunch. The company will employ automated and human review process. Twitter will provide additional queries and information to ensure that the verification badget would not be abused.
Twitter hopes that by adding profile labels especially for political candidates, government accounts, and state-affiliated media will assist users on knowing who they are interacting with to help them decides if these accounts can be trusted.
In addition to the changes Twitter is making, as it re-introduces verification, the company said that it is also working on new ways to designate different account types, starting with:
Automated Accounts: Accounts that post to Twitter automatically, also called bots, can bring a lot of value to the service when they share things like earthquake reports or self-care reminders. But it can be confusing to people if it’s not clear that these accounts are automated. In 2021, Twitter is planning to build a new account type to distinguish automated accounts from human-run accounts to make it easier for people to know what’s a bot and what’s not.
Memorial Accounts: This account type will exist in the memory of someone who has passed. This will also come with an updated policy for memorialization and a new application flow to request the memorialization of an account.