Twitter, the magical social media platform where rules are implemented and changed as quickly as hyenas appear in the night, seems to have gone about-face on one of its more recent policy changes. Late last year, the company announced it would pause its verification process. The rationale was that the coveted blue checkmark, in a Derridean turn of fate, had lost all its meaning. What was once a measure of verifying whether a Twitter user of public interest was actually who they claimed to be became a sort of status symbol whereby some people (including white nationalists) were bestowed the honor and others weren’t.
Twitter said it needed to retool the program to figure out a better system:
4 / We’re working on a new authentication and verification program. In the meantime, we are not accepting any public submissions for verification and have introduced new guidelines for the program. https://t.co/j6P0HGXIVq
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 15, 2017
However, a few accounts have been given blue checkmarks in the last few weeks: Michael Wolff, author of the new Trump tell-all book Fire and Fury, and Mick Mulvaney, the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are among them. For Wolff, according to the Wayback Machine, he was not verified as early as January 3, 2018. Similarly, Mulvaney’s CFPB account joined Twitter in November and seems to have been given the checkmark sometime in the last few weeks. One of my editors at Fast Company, Anjali Khosla, was also verified last week, after applying a few months ago.
Twitter did not comment on the record, and has yet to issue a new post about re-introducing verification.
While it’s likely some accounts personally lobbied Twitter for verification, this was not the case for Khosla. Thus, it appears that Twitter has begun implementing a new system for the blue checkmarks, or at least allowing a few to slip between the cracks.