SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Twitter said on Thursday (May 20) that it was revamping its rules for verified accounts, potentially opening up the coveted blue badge to more users, but with clearer guidelines.
Updated procedures will make it easier for Twitter users to request certification, but the platform will also remove the badge for those without certain requirements, as well as for those violating Twitter's rules.
"Today's application roll-out marks the next milestone in our plans to give more transparency, credibility and clarity to verification on Twitter," the company said in a statement.
To be eligible, users still must fit into one of Twitter's categories by being in government, business, media, entertainment, gaming or sports, or if they are public figures or activists.
The platform may add additional categories, such as scientists and religious leaders, for example.
The badge seen on verified accounts gives added credibility to tweets and notifies users that the messages are coming from a noted person, not a fake or parody account.
"The blue badge is one of the ways we help people distinguish the authenticity of accounts that are of high public interest," the company statement said.
"It gives people on Twitter more context about who they're having conversations with so they can determine if it's trustworthy, which our research has shown leads to healthier, more informed conversations."
Some 360,000 accounts are currently verified, according to Twitter.
Twitter had scaled back its verification amid complaints that the process was arbitrary and confusing, and last year it paused the process as it stepped up efforts to stem misinformation around the US election.
The platform revamped its procedures, aiming for more transparency after receiving more than 33,000 comments from users.
Twitter said it could remove the badge from accounts that are inactive for six months, or without a confirmed e-mail address or photo, as well as for anyone violating platform rules.
The move comes with Twitter focusing on what it calls "health" of conversation on its platform, by filtering out misinformation and abusive content, while also seeking to grow beyond its core base of politicians, celebrities and journalists.