The Margin: What does Twitter verification really mean?

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Stock Market

As the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk is spending a lot of his time these days floating proposals to charge a monthly fee for the social-media platform’s verification service. And he’s even managed to pick a fight with Stephen King in the process.  This may be especially newsworthy to people who are already verified by Twitter, which is indicated by the blue check mark next to their account name. But for others, this could be a bit confusing: What does verification mean, exactly? How many people have it? And why isn’t anyone and everyone eligible for it already?

Let’s break it all down…How did verification start? Almost as soon as Twitter emerged as a powerful platform about 15 years ago, a problem also emerged: Folks were starting accounts using the names of famous individuals, and tweeting messages as if they were those people. And sometimes the messages were not exactly in keeping with that person’s identity or image. Among the boldface names who had issues with Twitter over these non-legitimate accounts: None other than Kanye West — yes, the now controversial rapper otherwise known as Ye — and baseball manager Tony La Russa, who sued Twitter after someone created a fake account with his name. Twitter’s solution was to launch the verification program in 2009. As the New York Daily News explained at the time, the idea was to let “the Twitterverse know which celebrities and other online per …

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