Opinion

Twitter changes its verification criteria again – and introduces new categories

Accounts can now be verified under the platform’s categories for freelance journalists and content creators, while the top 0.05% follower target for activists (almost 100,000 followers in the UK and US) remains.

Liam O’Dell was first made aware of the category changes at the start of December, yet despite repeated requests for comment over several weeks, this website is still awaiting a response from Twitter as to what was behind the creation of the two new areas.

An expansion of Twitter’s ‘news organisations and journalists’ category now includes information on what is needed from freelance journalists in order to receive the blue tick, which states that opinion pieces “will not be accepted”.

Opinion pieces are a legitimate form of journalism, and it’s disappointing to see Twitter disregard this – not least when, in the context of #VerifyDisabledTwitter, many disabled freelance journalists have made a name for themselves from writing comment pieces about their lived experience.

Elsewhere, activists and content creators appear to have been split out into separate categories. While the prerequisites for the former have remained the same, the requirements for the latter have been revealed.

Twitter writes that the verified badge is for “established digital content creators who consistently [post] public, original content (regardless of platform) for at least six months prior to applying and meet the follower or mention criteria listed below for other influential individuals”.

Further information has also been provided on the possible notability and authenticity requirements, with applications required to either have a Google Trends profile; a “stable Wikipedia article” or links to websites or news organisations already verified on Twitter which reference their handle or registered email address.

The final two options include links to “a content page outside of Twitter that shows your published content over the last six months”, or links to three or more references in news outlets – published within the last six months prior to applying – which meet the news verification criteria.

This includes “specialty publications related to your profession or expertise”, they add.

The expanded content creator category appears to address “a gap in [Twitter’s] criteria about blogging” – something which a spokesperson for the company conceded earlier this year.

“So we do have people who are very notable bloggers, who are building a following and saying important stuff, but it’s not a verified news outlet and we don’t capture that yet. So, I think there’s a lot of room for us to find more and better signals that help us capture the nuance of communities, and it can be tricky,” they told Liam O’Dell in August.

The full verification requirements can be found on Twitter’s Help Center.

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