Image Credits: the Daily Monitor
(e-Way | Kampala) – In 2017 November, Twitter withdrew the public application form for verification because people misunderstood the rationale for being verified. Some thought the verification was an endorsement by Twitter.
Apparently those who were verified on Twitter are handpicked by Twitter contacts and policy teams in their countries. Only presidents have been verified even when the form was withdrawn because they are notable figures in the community. People like presidents are very likely to be impersonated so they need their accounts to be verified. Twitter has a new policy that came to effect on December 18, 2020.
Verification requests for public applications resumed in January this year.
The blue ticks or badges on social media accounts are entitled to a few chosen ones. Has it ever crossed your mind, why you are not in that bracket? For many, it is not essential as long as they get to post what they want but it is essential in this era of citizen journalism to distinguish between what sources to trust and vice versa.
Mr Mathias Ssemanda, a digital media consultant, defines a verified account as authenticated with a check on most social media platforms of an organisation or public figure that confirms their authentic presence on this social media network. For YouTube, the mark is grey, Pinterest is red, while the trio Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is blue.
Mr John Ssenkezzi, digital marketer, notifies that there is no monetary benefit attached to a verified account. It only gives your customers confidence that they are interacting with the actual business.
Alternatively, the benefit of verification is garnering more followers. Ssemanda says people will follow those they don’t know because they are verified on Twitter. Some organisations hire influencers based on the followers they have.
In addition, Mr Emmanuel Waiswa, digital enabler at Nation Media Group, says sizable audiences influence and promote content. YouTube gives one an opportunity to monetise original video content by displaying adverts within segments or even sponsor specific segments within video content.
Why companies verify
The badge or tick informs people that the account is authentic. For any account to be verified, it must be authentic, notable and active. It is protected against impersonation. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have different procedures and requirements on how to get verified. The process to get verified on Instagram is a technical procedure under application in settings, then account and request verification.
Before one requests for a check mark, there are specific categories considered and if you don’t fall into any of the categories, even if you apply, you won’t get verified. Celebrities or people in the entertainment industry are most likely to be verified on Instagram because of the creative nature of the platform. For Ssemanda, having a substantial following could be part of the prerequisite.
When one applies for verification, the team looks out for leads about them. Your footprint online confirms your notability.
Who falls into the category?
Government officials, Heads of State, official spokespersons from Ministries, appointed ministers and ambassadors are entitled to the mark. News organisations and officials that work with news organisations such as journalists were taken on the aspect to identify quality news. Social media is always awash by fake news and people literally believe everything. But reading news from a source with a verified badge is a way to associate with an authentic journalist.
People in the entertainment industry are hugely followed hence they are verified.
However, social media network companies caution against trading off one’s badge for money. Once a celebrity or public figure is verified, other brands look at such accounts as an authenticated presence that could be a voice to market ones’ services or products.
When do you lose your badge?
Each company has policies on why and when can one lose a badge. The Twitter liaison, Ssemanda highlights a few hints on when the red flag is raised.
One loses the badge if their account is hacked into and someone makes changes on that account. Changes of the page name which differs from the prior ones registered risks the badge being revoked and can only be returned if the account is reported to have been hacked before together with submission of court documents that the names were changed.
Also violating policies by use of hate speech and criticism against other kinds of people.
All verified accounts are followed by @verified on Twitter.