Twitter will allow anyone to apply for verification next year

(Logo: Twitter/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

Social media service Twitter will allow anyone to apply for a coveted blue verification badge starting in late January, the company announced on Thursday.

The plan makes good on a promise made by Twitter earlier in the year to review its verification process in a way that could open the door for more people to get the distinguished badge of notoriety. The company’s new verification policy was put in place based on public feedback collected over the last few weeks.

“Public feedback has become a critical part of our policy development process by making sure our policies reflect the global nature of our service and the people who use it,” Twitter said in a blog post on Thursday.

Starting January 20, 2021, anyone with a Twitter account will be allowed to request a review of their profile for purposes of verification. To be eligible, Twitter says an account must have a display name, a profile image and either a verified e-mail address or phone number.

The new policy no longer requires users to have a header image or a biography on their profile, Twitter said. Users can lose their verified status if they repeatedly break the social media company’s rules, which the company is known to change at a moment’s notice.

In addition to the new verification policy, Twitter said its expanding some categories and titles to be more inclusive of its users. The “News” title will now expand to include journalists, including freelance journalists, while the “Sports” category will allow eSports companies and participants.

More categories for scientists, academics and religious leaders are coming sometime next year, Twitter said, but for now they will continue to fall under the broad “Activists, organizers and other influential individuals” category.

In addition to the new verification policy, Twitter said it would roll out a handful of other changes to the way it labels certain accounts. Feeds that are controlled entirely by robots will soon display an “Automated” label, Twitter said, while the profiles of deceased individuals will contain a memorial label.

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