It turns out that Twitter’s new verification plan will be a two-tier system after all. Esther Crawford, the Twitter VP leading the revamped Twitter Blue subscription, confirmed that in addition to the blue check marks, the company also has a separate “official” label for “select” accounts.
The label was previously spotted on builds from Twitter, but it’s the first time anyone at the company has confirmed its existence. Twitter, which recently fired most of its communications staff, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Crawford, the “official” label will be reserved for “government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.” It’s unclear how Twitter will designate which accounts are eligible or whether they will have to go through an additional verification process. “Not all previously verified accounts will be labeled ‘Official’ and the label is not for sale,” Crawford tweeted.
It appears the plan is intended to address something aligned with Musk’s plan for Twitter Blue and verification. Namely that paying for verification could open the door for scammers and impersonators to hijack conversations and spread misinformation. Crawford isn’t the first Twitter executive to address the issues. Yoel Roth, the company’s head of integrity, has Twitter plans to step up “proactive review of Blue Verified accounts showing signs of impersonating another user”. Elon Musk also said that Twitter is calling all impersonators without warning after a number of accounts changed their names to Elon Musk to make a point about his plans.
Of course, the new “official” labels also sound a bit like… Twitter’s existing verification system that Musk and others have criticized as unfair. And the fact that it will only be issued to “select” accounts determined by Twitter sounds like the company will once again pass judgment on which accounts are “remarkable,” something Twitter execs — including Roth — have criticized.
The “official” label and extended verification are expected to roll out in the coming days.
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