Twitter Changes Verification Policy & Guidelines

As the owner of a small news website looking to grow its brand, reputation and credibility online, the internal policy of some of the industries top distribution platforms is something I have always paid close attention to. Earlier this week, Twitter made international headlines after the company announced it had decided to completely change the process through which the it “verifies” new accounts, and has now adopted a revolving door policy which can strip verified accounts of their badges at any point in time based on their online behavior or content.

As was originally reported by Ars Technica on November 15th 2017, “A Twitter rules update rolled out on Wednesday to address the site’s “verification” system, and it attached a new set of standards to any user whose account receives a “blue check mark.” Explaining that, “After receiving public backlash, Twitter froze its verification system to review the process. On Wednesday, a new rules page was rolled out to explain how accounts can lose their verified status. In short: if users don’t prescribe to certain Twitter guidelines, even on public sites other than Twitter, they can kiss their blue check marks goodbye.

See Twitters New Guidelines Here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20174630#

The new changes to Twitter‘s policy were spurned after the company received heavy criticism/backlash from the online community last week, after allowing a known and outspoken white supremacist to gain verification status. Under the new guidelines, not only will Twitter‘s review process for verified accounts become more stringent, but previously verified accounts will also be reviewed on a periodical basis to ensure that they are adhering to Twitters policies and remain in good practice.

Twitter acknowledges that “verified accounts” give off a sense of “visual prominence on the service” and that by selectively verifying some accounts and not others, their actions could be interpreted as giving an “endorsement” to all the pages the company chooses to verify. However, this is something that they want to distance themselves from. In a statement made available to the public through one of the companies online Twitter handles, they went out of their way to say that “we in no way endorse” the people we verify and the company is not responsible for the actions or content produced through verified accounts.

On a personal note, over the course of the last 14 months I have been turned down from Twitter verification twice, refused from inclusion into Google News 4 times and turned down for Facebook verification more times than I can count. So, when a company as large as Twitter publicly changes their guidelines I am certainly going to take notice. While one of my media creations – The Daily Proletariat – was verified by Facebook and Google Business, it was refused for verification by Twitter at the same exact time with no explanation given.

Unlike Twitter, Google News is a little more transparent in their process and logic, and has explained to me that websites are more often times than not refused for inclusion because these pages are not transparent enough about their owners, writers or mission. Additionally, Facebook will only verify pages which have actual business paperwork or documentation to back up their work, such as an electric bill or article of incorporation. Twitter on the other hand remains an industry outlier and even with their most recent announcement this week, their standards still remain a mystery.



Categories: Tech Stuff

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