Twitter’s coveted blue badge of verification has had a rocky history. The company used to allow users to request verification, but the company removed this option back in 2017, choosing to instead verify accounts on its own. Things have changed multiple times since then, but it looks like Twitter still hasn’t ironed out its verification issues.
Twitter’s verification woes started in late 2017 after the company verified the account that had belonged to a known white supremacist. The company had said at the time that while it intended verification as a way to authenticate who is behind the account, users had instead started to view it as an “endorsement or indicator of importance.”
This disconnect between intent and perception, as well as the backlash against the aforementioned verification, resulted in Twitter suspending its account verification request option. Instead, the company found and verified accounts on its own according to its own standards.
After four long years, things started changing when Twitter introduced new verification rules in December 2020, making it clear who could qualify to get the verification badge. The verification requests feature went live once again back in May, though it was initially limited to ‘notable’ users and brands.
Soon after opening the verification process in May, the company paused it again due to the huge number of verification requests it received, later reopening to applications. Fast-forward to August and Twitter has once again paused the verification requests option, saying that it needs more time for improvements and the review process.
The decision comes only days after it was revealed that Twitter had mistakenly verified a fake account attributed to author Cormac McMarthy. The company reversed the verification and didn’t shed light on how the fake account was able to get the verified checkmark.