Twitter plans to relaunch verification in 2021, the company said in a blog post Thursday:
We are excited to relaunch public applications for verification in 2021 through a new, self-serve application process that will be available on the Account Settings page on the web and in-app. The process will include asking applicants to select a category for their verified status and confirming their identity via links and other supporting materials.
The company plans to unveil its public application form early next year. Accounts that are already verified will receive an email if their profiles are “incomplete”—missing something like a verified email address, an image, or a display name—the company says. Those scofflaw accounts will have till January 20 to sort themselves out.
Perhaps that date, which coincides with Joe Biden’s inauguration, is a coincidence, but Twitter suspended most verifications in 2017 following outrage that it had verified Jason Kessler, the clown who helped organize the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bringing it back certainly feels like a step toward the normalcy many Washingtonians crave, which is to say that they’ll be able to petition for an objectively meaningless digital status symbol. (That’s easy for me to say; I was pumped to wake up to find a check next to my name a few years ago.)
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017
Twitter’s new verification policy outlines the conditions of “notability” and “activity” that will guide its decisions. Applications will be handled by computers and humans, so you may have a route to complain if you’re still check-less by next summer.