One of the most interesting aspects of Elon Musk’s takeover at Twitter has been watching how, despite all of Musk’s overt claims and noise, the company’s approach is still largely the same as it has been in the past. Sure, he’s reinstated a heap of previously banned accounts, many of which have been re-banned again, and he’s also made the platform less welcoming for advertisers by upping the parameters for content removals, and allowing Community Notes to be added to promoted tweets.
But in terms of rules and approaches, Twitter’s either pretty much the same as it was, or it’s slowly reverting back to its old systems, as Musk and his Twitter 2.0 team learn why those original rules had initially been put in place. Take, for example, verification, which Musk initially used as a real ‘changing of the guard’ element, a statement that things would now be much different under his regime.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Which everybody had predicted would happen – but Elon was keen to push ahead with his new strategy anyway, which also saw him then forced to up the price to avoid losing out due to app store taxes.
A month later, when Twitter re-launched verification, new parameters had been added, which immediately began to mirror the ‘lords and peasants’ system that Musk had criticized. Government entities and businesses would have separate classification, while Twitter would implement new checking measures to minimize impersonation, including the removal of the checkmark whenever a Twitter Blue subscriber changed their username of profile image.
Those parameters make sense, of course, but again, the changes moved the system more into line with how Twitter had previously managed this element, while Twitter then also gifted verification to its top 10,000 advertisers, as well as individuals with over a million followers, in recognition of their importance to the app.
In other words, Twitter’s still giving out verification, based on its own internal criteria, and those users are indeed being treated differently. Not only do these profiles not have to pay for a verification tick, they also don’t even need to apply – essentially, the Twitter 2.0 team has now recognized that these users need verification in order to protect their identity in the app, which is exactly what the original verification process was implemented to address. And now, through its own trial and error, Twitter has come to the same conclusion as its previous management, though Musk and Co. continue to frame it otherwise.
That’s been further underlined again this week, with Twitter launching a new application procedure for
Twitter’s verification process underwent an overhaul recently in an effort to make it closer to the verification process of the past. The process typically requires a user to fill out a request form, which is then looked over by Twitter.
The new process consists of three parts: application, review and review-based verification. First, a user who is eligible for verification must fill out an application form and submit it to Twitter. Twitter will then review the application and make a decision whether or not to grant the user verification. If the user is approved, their account will be marked with a blue checkmark and a verification message will appear in the user’s bio and profile page.
The new process is intended to make the process fairer, more open and transparent. Twitter hopes to give users more control over how their verification status is handled. It also hopes to address issues of transparency by reducing the paperwork and manual processes required for every request.
Under the new process, users can apply for verified status without fear of bias. Twitter has also clarified its guidelines for verification, and will assess a person’s eligibility for verification on a case-by-case basis. To be eligible for verification, users must have an active account, fulfill certain criteria and be “notable”.
The reforms to the verification process take into account the diversity and complexities of the Twitter community. Twitter hopes that by emphasizing transparency and genuine representation, it will help create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.
Twitter has also expanded its verification system, allowing video and audio recording to support the application process. The company is also collaborating with academic researchers to better understand the criteria for verification.
Ultimately, Twitter’s decision to reform its verification process will help bring it more in line with the verification protocols of the past. The company is hoping to make it easier for users to acquire verified status, ensuring that those users’ identities, content and activities are represented accurately and fairly. With these changes, Twitter seeks to foster a sense of trust and equity within the platform.
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