Twitter is shaking up its verification system as one of the world’s most famous CEOs, Elon Musk, recently announced that Twitter will be removing all “legacy blue check marks” in the upcoming month. As of April 20th, users who had their accounts verified on or before July 20th, 2020, will no longer have the distinction of displaying the coveted blue check mark on their profile. This move by Twitter brings about a new era for user verification, ushering in a system that will be based on transparency and accountability for users.
1. What Legacy Blue Check Marks Are
Legacy blue checkmarks are a special feature on Twitter. This is used to signify that a user has been authenticated by Twitter, and thus, their account is trustworthy and verified. A blue checkmark on a Twitter profile indicates that the user is authentic and genuine. There are several other benefits of having a blue checkmark from Twitter, which include:
- Improved credibility – Twitter is a platform that houses people from all walks of life. Having a blue checkmark gives your account more credibility, as it provides visual proof that you are a certified user.
- Better visibility – Verified accounts receive better visibility, as their tweets appear higher in people’s timelines, and can even appear in the ‘Who to Follow’ feature for others to discover. This feature helps verified users reach a larger, broader audience.
Once you become a verified user on Twitter, the blue badge stays with your account, even if you change your username, and it will be visible on all versions of your profile, such as the Twitter website, iOS app, and Android app. This can help your profile, as many people are attracted to the blue badge and it can improve the overall feel of your profile. Overall, the blue check mark on Twitter can help with both credibility and visibility, so it is certainly an invaluable asset to have.
2. When Will Legacy Blue Check Marks Be Removed?
Twitter has announced that the blue verification badge, or check mark, that is used to denote a verified account on the platform will no longer be used beginning in early 2021. Twitter introduced a new verification process in early 2020, but the original badges never went away.
The original blue check marks are being removed as part of the new verification process going into effect in 2021. Twitter confirmed that existing accounts with a blue check mark will no longer have it once the new verification process is in place. Twitter’s new process focuses on “authenticity,” making sure accounts are not bots, trolls, or merely impersonators. The new criteria include:
- Authenticity: Accounts must be authentic. Accounts must represent a real person, registered business, or entity.
- Everyday Human Use: Accounts must be actively and regularly used.
- Unintegrity: Accounts must not be misused in any way.
- Unique: Accounts must be unique and one-of-a-kind.
- Complete Profile: Accounts must have up-to-date profile information.
Once the roll-out is completed, the legacy blue check marks will be removed from existing accounts that don’t meet the criteria for the new verification process. Twitter says it will also remove any check mark from accounts that are inactive or have been found to be in violation of its rules.
3. Why Is Twitter Removing Legacy Blue Check Marks?
Legacy blue check marks are used to signal if a person is verified. Since 2017 Twitter has been transitioning to a new system for giving out verified status by having users go through a process to request the blue verified badge. This new system—as well as the removal of legacy accounts—is intended to ensure consistency and transparency in the actual verifications.
The reasons for removing legacy accounts center around creating a cohesive standard across the platform. It would be easier for users to know if a profile is verified when a symbol is consistent across all blue-verified accounts. Additionally, this new standard creates transparency and helps Twitter ensure that accounts verification system is enforced in a consistent way. It also serves to diminish some of the potential abuse. By removing legacy blue check marks, Twitter is striving to create a system of trust and reliability across the platform.
4. How Will Legacy Blue Check Mark Removals Affect Twitter Users?
With the help of Twitter’s automated home timeline algorithm, those who are considered ‘legacy’ verified users, (meaning they had their blue check mark before the system changed in January 2018) may soon find their blue check mark removed. Twitter is taking steps to grandfather in existing verified users and replace the check mark with a new visual representation.
Twitter has started sending out emails to legacy verified users and letting them know that their blue check mark will be removed. It will still indicate that the user is ‘authentic’ with a new badge icon showing up on the account profile, however it will not be the traditional blue check mark. In addition to this, users who have verified their accounts post 2018 can still keep their check mark, as long as their accounts remain in good standing such as not violating the Twitter rules.
- Legacy verified users may soon find their blue check mark removed
- A new badge icon will replace the blue check mark
- Only accounts remaining in good standing will keep their check mark
Twitter’s big day of reckoning is drawing closer, and it’s sure to be an exciting point in the platform’s timeline. On April 20th, legacy blue check marks are on their way out. It’s a change that we should all be excited about, and one suggested by a notable user of the platform, Elon Musk. No matter what kind of user you are, this new measure will help make Twitter a safer space and source of knowledge for everyone.