Have you been spending so much time on your social media accounts since Corona locked us down? Well, you’re not alone and there’s really no need to feel sorry. We do what we do to cop, and if checking on what other people are up to just to feel less lonely and more connected to the “outside world,” then who can stop us, right? And if you’ve been keen on going back to Twitter because our former president isn’t spewing vitriol at 3 in the morning on the platform anymore, you may notice that there are accounts that have little blue checks on them. Do you want to have that checkmark on your account as well? Not so fast. These checkmarks are proofs of verified accounts, and not just anyone can be verified on Twitter. Let’s get educated on what these small blue checkmarks are and what they are for.
What are these verified accounts?
Once and for all, to set the records straight, verified accounts are not just for any account that fancies that blue and white check to be beside their handles. These accounts are of public interest. So, if you are someone who just happens to have a Twitter account and sharing to the world how many steps you’ve taken outdoors for your daily exposure to sunlight with social distancing protocols strictly observed, you may never get that blue checkmark. But if you’re a mayor of a city or a self-proclaimed influencer with 100,000 followers, the chances of getting verified by Twitter for that checkmark might be a tad bigger.
The enforcement of the new policy will kick off on January 20, 2021, with inactive accounts also at risk of losing their verification. Assuming you want to get your own blue checkmark, you’ll need to head into Account Settings and access the application system. Supporting materials, confirmation of identity, and similar will be required.
What will make Twitter give you that checkmark?
So, do you just need to be very famous to get verified? Yes, but obviously you need to be a regular user of the platform, too. Why would Twitter verify even if you’re famous if you only send out tweets once a month? Regular use of the platform plus a strong and large following will get you that checkmark. In a lot of cases, many followers have lobbied Twitter to verify a popular account that hasn’t been verified yet. That lobbying works in a lot of cases. So, if you’re a good user of the platform and you have say, 100,000 followers, tell these followers to flood Twitter with tweets asking them to verify you. That way, Twitter will also verify that indeed, your followers are authentic and not mere bots.
In Twitter’s announcement about verified accounts, they listed a few particular elements that might be a factor in which accounts they choose to verify and which they don’t. The biggest factor in getting verified on Twitter is that the profile is of public interest.
So what if you have a verified Twitter account?
Twitter has gotten strict when giving out verified account badges, so if an account has that checkmark, you can be pretty sure that the organization or personality behind the account is legitimate and is not an imposter or worse, a bot. A verified account is an account directly related to the personality or organization, which separates it from fan accounts or parody accounts. As someone who follows Twitter accounts and looking for the authentic one, just look for the account with the checkmark beside the name, and you’re good to go.
Verification is considered a mark of prestige and it’s only given to certain accounts – famous people, large companies, and people who have a strong voice in key interest areas. According to Twitter.com, they concentrate on “highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas.”
Be verified, have responsibilities
Just because a Twitter account is verified doesn’t mean it will be verified forever. If an account duffers from a decreased following, or if tweets of a verified account get reported for violations like hate language or spreading fake information, a verified account may lose that checkmark, or worse, that account may get suspended. Remember former President Trump? Just because you have a verified account doesn’t mean you are spared from being a responsible account holder.
Twitter automatically removes the blue tick from your account if you change your username or @handle. This is to help check the risk of popular accounts being hacked and renamed.
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