Monday, January 08, 2018
Twitter verification: the idea could mean more without net neutrality down the road, but new applications appear suspended
I’ve encountered some controversy over Twitter verification recently. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before.
A verification check is supposed to mean that (1) Twitter has verified that “you” are who you say you are as the owner of the account (think about identity theft) and (2) you are a person of some public importance. The second idea seems very subjective and we’ll come back to that.
First, it seems that Twitter has suspended the ability to apply for the verification check (as of November 2017). All of this happened before its “Twitter Purge”. The FAQ page right now doesn’t tell you how to apply. “The Verge” seems to confirm this impression.
But there have been a few articles according people to try to get the badge. There is one on “MakeUse Of” but the best piece seems to be by Tom Ward on Forbes, last April.
It appears that you need to be mentioned by other people besides yourself, that “self-publishing doesn’t count” here. It is also helpful if you are published on sites other than your own. (I would expect “Blogtyrant” to look into this.)
The idea seems similar to Wikipedia’s idea of “notability”. You can’t write your own Wikipedia article, and whoever does can’t be too close to you (can’t be paid to, for example).
Twitter doesn’t rule the world, like Vantage (private joke from work at ING!, in the past). But the concept, and the observation that Twitter keeps it obscure, suggests a potential gatekeeping trend that could grow troublesome with the loss of net neutrality. Potentially, someday, people might not be allowed to have their own domains connected until they had all proven some kind of public worthiness. That certainly sounds like where things in China are headed already. Could it happen here?
The video above (from a British conservative) explains why this can be abused (by the “Left”) and suggests that Twitter identify people only with legal or public records documents.
I seem to get plenty of followers without verification now. About 30% of the followers are junk (spammers) who drop me pretty quickly.