Twitter's Blue Checkmark explained

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The Cyber Guy Kurt Knutsson on the massive hack on prominent Twitter accounts and whether users should be concerned.

Every Twitter user has wondered at one time or another what it's like to have a blue checkmark next to their name.

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According to the social media platform, a blue checkmark is used to let people know that an account of "public interest" is authentic.

This typically includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other areas of interest.

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The blue checkmark is found next to the name on an account profile and next to the account name in search results. According to Twitter, the symbol is always the same color in the same location, regardless of profile or theme color customizations.

Accounts without blue checkmarks are not considered verified accounts.

Examples of accounts verified with a blue checkmark on Twitter include President Donald Trump, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, billionaire Bill Gates, and musician Kanye West. Government insitutions or companies can also be verified, such as the White House, Fox Business, Apple and Disney, among others.

HOW TWITTER'S FACT CHECK WORKS

To become verified on Twitter, a user must update their profile with current information, verify a phone number and email address, add your birthday, set your tweets as "public" and fill out a form requesting consideration as a verified user.

If you are not verified in the first request, you can try again in 30 days.

The badge must be applied by Twitter, and accounts that use the badge as part of profile photos, background photos, or in any other way that implies verified status, are subject to permanent account suspension.

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Twitter reserves the right to remove verification at any time without notice, for reasons including:

  • Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one’s display name or bio.
  • Promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.
  • Supporting organizations or individuals that promote the above.
  • Inciting or engaging in harassment of others.
  • Violence and dangerous behavior, such as:
  • Directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
  • Violent, gruesome, shocking, or disturbing imagery
  • Self-harm or suicide
  • Engaging in activity on Twitter that violates the Twitter Rules.

Previously verified accounts may not be eligible to have badges restored.

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Verified accounts may become targets for hacking or phishing campaigns.

In order to make sure your account is secure, Twitter recommends users turn on login verification, which requires users to pass a second security check to log in and to make sure that the email address associated with the account is secure.

If the account was recently verified, users are auto-enrolled to require the personal information to reset their password.

Users should be cautious of allowing third-party apps to access their account and are encouraged to review connections frequently and revoke access to any unfamiliar apps.

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