Mike Becky

Twitter to Add ‘Official’ Label to Government Accounts, Brands, Public Figures, and More ➝

Yours truly, in May 2021:

I always thought Twitter would open verification to everyone — a two-tiered system where any user could pay a nominal fee and provide documentation to verify. Public figures would be in a separate verification tier, without a fee, and chosen by Twitter. Which isn’t to necessarily say that this is a good idea.

I’ve linked to the truncated version of this post on Twitter, since the original was published on a WordPress site I was experimenting with that I’ve since shuttered. But I’ve included the full quote for completeness sake — I also had it saved to Day One.

But it’s interesting that my thoughts on the future of Twitter’s verification system now seem to be the exact direction they’re heading. I can’t say I love the idea, but I think this is actually a good business decision. It will let them lessen their reliance on advertising, continue to allow for verification of public figures, give users a way to reduce the number of ads in their feed, and allow anyone to have the same algorithmic advantages that were previously only available to those blessed with the blue check.

Update: Elon has, interestingly, killed the “Official” badge. It seems that he doesn’t want there to be a group of users that are given a special benefit that isn’t available to everyone — in a follow up tweet:

Blue check will be the great leveler

I still think it would be a good idea to have some kind of verification system to prevent impersonation. Maybe they’ll implement something like Mastodon has that checks the URL added to your profile for a rel="me" back link, allowing each user to utilize a domain that’s known to be owned them as a way to verify the account. This method would be easy to implement and available to everyone.

➝ Source: mobile.twitter.com

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