In the wake of the run-in with St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa last week Twitter has officially launched its verified accounts beta. The service was mentioned over the weekend in Biz Stone’s blog post that made it known that Twitter would bow to no one on legal concerns that they viewed as frivolous.
The feature has been a long time coming, and many celebrities will jump on the opportunity to prove their legitimacy. It’ll also solve the entrenched problem of celebrity impersonations, which are confusing for users and unwelcome by those being impersonated. Businesses, however, will have to wait: the feature has not been rolled out to corporate entities yet.
Cashmore also says, “The process to become verified appears to be limited to power meaning that celebrities, musicians, athletes, actors, public officials and public agencies on the service can now display a “verified account” button on their Twitter pages.” Well, one thing is certainly a relief here. I wouldn’t want any public officials being portrayed as lying or bending the truth to fit into 140 characters at a clip. That would certainly be seen as unusual for that group (my apologies as to my level of sarcasm, when it comes to politics it’s hard not to be at least a little cynical).
To see if you meet the standard of requiring account verification you can visit the verified account page for more information. There will probably be confusion and wondering whether someone is ‘verification worthy’ (remember Elaine’s ‘sponge-worthiness’ measurement from Seinfeld?) and what does it mean if the verification badge is absent?
With this feature, you can easily see which accounts we know are ‘real’ and authentic. That means we’ve been in contact with the person or entity the account is representing and verified that it is approved. (This does not mean we have verified who, exactly, is writing the tweets.)
This also does not mean that accounts without the ‘Verified Account’ badge are fake. The vast majority of accounts on the system are not impersonators, and we don’t have the ability to check 100% of them. For now, we’ve only verified a handful of accounts to help with cases of mistaken identity or impersonation.
Twitter left the door open for expansion of the service but also covered their bases just in case it doesn’t scale easily
We may verify more accounts in the future, but because of the cost and time required, we’re only testing this feature with a small set of folks for the time being. As the test progresses we may be able to expand this test to more accounts over the next several months.
And for those who are of the belief that they are truly important and suffer from impersonation issues on Twitter but don’t fit the initial verification profile there’s this
Although we’re not verifying all accounts, we’ll try to work with you if your account is constantly competing with parody or impersonation accounts. Fill out this feedback form so that we know your situation.
Twitter’s ‘Good Tweetkeeping Seal of Approval” has been launched. Will you be the first on your block to get a badge?