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Twitter Implements Verified Accounts | ploked.com

Twitter Implements Verified Accounts

June 18th, 2009 |

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Ploked.com is all about being plugged into social media. We strive to provide informative, relevant, and unique perspectives in the world of social media.

Twitter has started the beta testing of verified accounts in order to help Twitter users battle “fake” accounts of well known personalities.  Upon verification of the personality of an account, there will be a graphic added to that user’s Twitter page stating that they are a “verified account”.

While Twitter can not prove who is writing the tweets, they have confirmed contact with the personality the account is representing.  This verification system has its advantages as well as disadvantages.

Advantages of Verified Accounts

Impersonating a famous person is pretty lame.  More than likely the people trying to pass off they are someone of importance are just trying to scrape up a few dollars from people on Twitter who do not know any better, or trying to get a large amount of followers based on a popular name to spam them with some lame offer.

Having verified accounts does provide some peace of mind to the end user in that they are more than likely tweeting with the person the account is representing and not some lame duck trying to scam the system.  Verification of accounts also helps Twitter minimize some issues other social media sites have run into.

Disadvantages of Verified Twitter Accounts

One of the current disadvantages is that this verification is only being done on individuals with “well known” accounts that have had issues with impersonation.  Typically these are going to be users who are artists, athletes, actors, public officials, and public agencies.  However, Twitter will allow you to request a review for verification should your account having been a target of impersonation.

Unfortunately, “well known” accounts can be the subject of debate.  Since it is at the discretion of Twitter what a “well known” account or personality is, many users or identities that should be verified will not be since “well known” is essentially an opinion to base judgement on.

Tips on Identifying Legitimate Verified Accounts

As with any safeguard put into place on a site, there will be some people who will look to “beat the system” in order to game the implemented safeguard.  Here are a few things to look for in a legitimate verified Twitter account.

  • The Twitter account will have a “verified account” badge on their profile located above their name
  • The badge will be followed by the phrase “verified account”
  • The account is not a legitimate verified account should the badge and phrasing be located anywhere else on the profile, for example on their background image
  • The color of the badge will be the same for all verified accounts regardless of a custom profile layout or color scheme
  • Check out an example of a verified account by clicking here

So is the verified account system perfect?  By no means it is not.  While it is just being rolled out, there will be some hurdles to overcome.  However, we should applaud Twitter for taking steps to help better the credibility of their site as well as the users engaging on it.

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