Twitter is once more accepting requests for verification

Kick the football, Charlie Brown! You’ll definitely get it this time! And while you’re at it, why not apply to be verified on Twitter? There’s no way that can go wrong either.

The news: after temporarily halting new applications for its revamped verification process last month, Twitter announced it’s “back to rolling out access to request a blue badge.” The company said it put a pause on new applications in order to improve “the application flow and review process.” That may have something to do with the fake accounts that the company accidentally verified in July, but maybe Twitter has now learned from its mistakes.

The company relaunched its perennially troubled verification program in May this year, after it was put on ice in 2017. Twitter’s criteria for verification is that an account must be “authentic, notable, and active,” but the public perception of verification has always been a little more ambiguous, stirring up controversy around the program.

For a start, there are numerous cases of genuinely notable and influential figures going unverified, while podunk journalists like myself can saunter up to the verification table and grab a badge no questions. Some users, meanwhile, see verification mostly as a prestige item, indicating that verified individuals are somehow better than the mass of gelatinous pond scum that constitutes the unverified (I’m not saying that’s wrong, exactly) and so want to be verified just for the sake of it. Others see it as a mark of reliability, rather than simply notoriety.

Trying to keep everyone happy has been difficult for Twitter, but its stop-start, uncoordinated approach to the whole business is hardly helping. For example, even though Twitter says users can apply for verification again, its FAQ page still clearly states “There is no way to apply for verification today” (and seems not to have been updated since the beginning of the year).

Anyway, maybe this time Twitter will sort out this mess for real. And maybe Charlie Brown will finally kick that football. Stranger things have happened.