Twitter will soon let users request verification for the first time in more than three years. The company unveiled its revamped verification policy, which will go into effect in January 2021. And with the new policy, Twitter will open back up verification requests for users who believe they deserve the blue checkmark.
“The process will include asking applicants to select a category for their verified status and confirming their identity via links and other supporting materials,” the company explains.
Twitter “paused” verification in 2017 after the company verified a white nationalist. The company continued to verify thousands of accounts in the years since, but it was an ad hoc process available only to people who had a direct connection to Twitter employees. This led to complaints that the process was confusing to navigate, and disadvantaged people susceptible to harassment.
With the updated policy, though, Twitter will allow users to request verification in the “account settings” section of its app and website. The company says that exact details for the process will come at a later date, but that it will use a combination of automation and human reviewers to evaluate applications. It added that it will give users the option to share demographic info with their request in order to “better measure and improve the equity of our verification process.”
Twitter began taking feedback on a new verification policy last month, and shared the broad categories it would use to evaluate who should be verified. These categories include government officials, journalists, brands, as well as prominent individuals and organizations from the sports and entertainment industries. There’s also a final category for “activists, organizers, and other influential individuals,” for those who may not fit neatly into the other categories. Twitter added that it may also add dedicated categories for academics and religious leaders.
In addition to the verification changes, Twitter is also working on new labels for for bots and memorialized accounts that belonged to people who have since died. The company said the labels would be similar to those it adds to government agencies, election candidates and state-run media.