Twitter had paused its public verification programme a few years ago. However, last year, Twitter said it would re-launch the account verification process in 2021. On Thursday, Twitter highlighted that it has also started automatically removing the verified badge from those accounts that no longer meet the updated criteria for verification.
"We're excited to share that starting today, we'll begin rolling out our new verification application process and reviewing public applications for verification on Twitter. Today's application rollout marks the next milestone in our plans to give more transparency, credibility, and clarity to verification on Twitter," Twitter said in a blog.
Verified accounts that repeatedly violate the Twitter Rules are subject to have the blue badge removed, it added.
The microblogging platform said over the past several months, it has been working to bring clarity to the verification eligibility criteria and has launched a new policy shaped by public feedback.
Twitter highlighted that it has also started enforcing that policy by automatically removing the verified badge from accounts that no longer meet the updated criteria for verification, such as those that are inactive or incomplete.
The coveted 'blue badge' is one of the ways Twitter helps people distinguish the authenticity of accounts that are of high public interest, and gives Twitter users more context about who they're having conversations with.
"With today's application launch, we're also introducing new guidelines for verified accounts on Twitter. These verification guidelines are intended to encourage healthy conversations for the betterment of the Twitter community overall," the US-based company said.
To qualify for verification, users must belong to one of the six categories - Government; Companies/brands/organisations; news organisations and journalists; entertainment; sports and gaming; and activists/organisers/other influential individuals.
Twitter pointed out that it is planning to introduce more categories later this year, such as those for scientists, academics, and religious leaders.
The microblogging platform said users must also provide a profile name, a profile image, and either a confirmed email address or phone number. The account must also be active within the last six months and have a record of adherence to the Twitter Rules.
"Over the next few weeks, everyone on Twitter will start to see the new verification application directly in the Account Settings tab," Twitter said, adding that once the application is submitted, users will get an emailed response.
If the application is approved, users will see the blue badge automatically on their profile.
India is one of the biggest markets for digital platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Earlier this year, the government had introduced guidelines to curb the misuse of social media platforms.
Among various measures, the rules had said social media companies can look at offering a voluntary user verification mechanism to those who wish to verify their accounts. Such users will be provided an "appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification", the rules had said.