It turns out Twitter’s new plan for verification will be a two-tiered system after all. Esther Crawford, the twitter VP leading the revamped Twitter Blue subscription confirmed that in addition to the blue checkmarks, the company will also use a separate “official” label for “select” accounts.
The label had previously been spotted on internal builds of Twitter, but it’s the first time anyone at the company has confirmed its existence. Twitter, which recently laid off most of its communications staff, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Crawford, the “official” label will be reserved for “government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.” It’s unclear how Twitter will designate which accounts qualify or if they will have to go through an additional vetting process. “Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” Crawford tweeted.
Not all previously verified accounts will get the “Official” label and the label is not available for purchase. Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) November 8, 2022
The plan seems like it’s meant to address some of the criticism that’s been leveled at Musk’s plan for Twitter Blue and verification. Namely that paying for verification could open the door for scammers and impersonators to hijack conversations and spread misinformation. Crawford isn’t the first Twitter executive to address the issues. Yoel Roth, the company’s head of integrity, has also said twitter plans to “ramp up proactive review of Blue Verified accounts that show signs of impersonating another user.” Elon Musk also said that Twitter would ban all impersonators without warning after a number of accounts changed their names to Elon Musk to make a point about his plans.
For years, Verification on Twitter has been tricky because it’s a signal both of authenticity (you are who you say you are) and notability (you’re “important” by some standard).
Notability is inherently difficult to determine in a fair way globally. I support getting rid of it.
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) November 8, 2022
Of course, the new “official” labels also sound a bit like… Twitter’s existing verification system which Musk and others have criticized as unfair. And, the fact that it will only be given out to “select” accounts determined by Twitter, sounds like the company will once again be making a judgment about which accounts are “notable,” something Twitter execs — including Roth — have criticized.
The “official” label and the expanded verification are both expected to roll out in the coming days.