Back in 2009, Twitter introduced Verified accounts as a way to help the public determine who the real celebrities are online, and to prevent our being duped by fakers. A simple blue check mark would appear in the profile of those who had been verified by the social media organization. I don’t know about you, but I felt comforted knowing I was following the real Darth Vader and not some phony. However, Twitter quietly turned this feature off a few months ago, with promises of something different to come.
For select people, Twitter will still verify the account. I’m assuming this means that if Steve Jobs actually signed up for the micro-blogging site, they would slap that little check mark on his account pretty fast. For the most part, though, the rest of us simply have to do without. If anyone tries to sign up and pretend to be me, there’s not much I can do to stop them and show everyone who is real.
It’s important to note that accounts which had previously obtained the badge will not lose them. There just will be very few new ones added for the time being. “We continue to very selectively verify accounts most at risk for impersonation on a one-off and highly irregular basis,” Twitter PR exec Carolyn Penner writes.
Do you even follow any celebrities? If they don’t have that little blue badge, how do you know they’re legitimate?