The social networking site, Twitter now allows anyone to request a verified account by filling out a form. Prerequisites for the application include a profile photo, a verified email address and phone number, and information as to why the verification of the account is necessary. “An account may be verified if it is determined to be of public interest,” says Twitter.
Until now, the social networking site only allowed public figures and brands to have their accounts verified.
Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of user services said, “We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification.”
“We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience,” she added.
As of now, Twitter has around 187,000 verified accounts as opposed to a massive 310 million active users. Twitters claims that verified accounts would help provide a solution for online harassment. Twitter would allow users to filter content so they only view replies and likes from other verified accounts.
Just recently, Twitter had banned Milo Yiannopoulos for posting offensive tweets about the popular Ghostbusters star, Leslie Jones. Leslie had vowed to leave twitter in response to the harassment.
The verification of accounts would not put an end to online harassment by itself. However, accounts that would be verified would bear the user’s real name and a recognisable photo. Twitter also reserves the right to demand a government ID from its users. This would prevent offenders from hiding behind a curtain of anonymity.
With regular users having their accounts verified, the prominence of anonymous users would drop sharply thereby decreasing the number of offenders online.