- January 20th, 2021 was the date when a new Twitter policy took effect, in which the social networking company says it will begin removing verification badges from inactive accounts and those that don’t meet its new requirements.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa has lost his Twitter verification badge.
The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.
Chamisa, who commands over 700, 000 followers on Twitter, is among the most followed politician in Zimbabwe together with exiled former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo.
Although it is not specifically clear the circumstances surrounding the removal of Chamisa’s verification badge by Twitter, his followers expressed surprise to notice that the white tick in a blue background has been removed by Twitter.
Twitter policy says you may lose your badge if you change your account name (@handle), if your account becomes inactive or incomplete, or if you are no longer in the position you initially were verified for – such as an elected government official who leaves office – and you do not otherwise meet our criteria for verification.
It as also come to the attention of this reporter that January 20th, 2021 was the date when a new Twitter policy took effect, in which the social networking company says it will begin removing verification badges from inactive accounts and those that don’t meet its new requirements.
Some of the new changes in its verification policy include more lax profile information requirements to be eligible for verification, more granular and defined categories for verification badges, and new guidelines around when a verified account may lose its blue checkmark if inactive or if found in violation of Twitter’s policies.
The new categories will include government officials — which Twitter has already been verifying on a case-by-case since it paused the official process — and companies, brands and nonprofit organizations.
It will also include media outlets and journalists, entertainment figures and organizations, sports-related accounts, and a broad “activists, organizers and other influential individuals” category. Twitter says it’s open to expanding its list of categories over time.
Late last year, Twitter had hinted that users had to upgrade their account information and as long as the account holder made the changes before January 20th to bring the account in line with its new verification requirements, there was no risk of losing an existing badge.
Those changes, Twitter said, included ensuring an account has a verified email address or phone number, a profile image, and a display name. Twitter also said it was going to inform individuals at risk of losing their badge what they needed to change to keep it before it takes action.
Furthermore, Twitter is reserving the right to remove verification.
“Under our policy, we may also remove verification from accounts that are found to be in severe or repeated violation of the Twitter Rules. We will continue to evaluate such accounts on a case-by-case basis, and will make improvements in 2021 on the relationship between enforcement of our rules and verification,” read a Twitter statement.
“As always, everyone on Twitter is subject to the Twitter Rules, and you can read more about our range of enforcement actions here.”
Meanwhile, for users who want to apply to be verified, Twitter will launch a new “self-serve application process” within the app at some point in early 2021 that will let applicants select a category for verification and confirming their identity.
Twitter says it will use both human review and an automated system to wade through requests. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺