You’ll remember that in an earlier blog post, we discussed the buying and selling of Instagram accounts and followers. We ultimately concluded that it’s probably best to attract followers to original content the good old-fashioned way—by doing it yourself. Today we’ll be looking at something less clear-cut: buying the Twitter verification mark.
The Twitter verification is a way of distinguishing people who, for whatever reason, have influential power. They aren’t necessarily smarter or wealthier than the rest of us, but their words have more pull.
It started out that the verification was reserved for celebrities. It’s really easy to pretend to be a celebrity by making a fake account under their name. So, Twitter started verifying the real accounts of these people for clarification.
But earlier this year (2017), Twitter opened the verification application process to the public. This is not to say that everyone who applies for verification will be approved. At least for now, you have to make a reasonable argument for why you deserve to have one.
It is a bit unclear why Twitter did this. It is my guess that they did it for a combination of reasons, some of which I will go over now.
One reason would be to crack down on internet trolling. Twitter is an especially easy platform on which to anonymously make mean, unsubstantiated claims. Celebrities and companies have to deal with so much harassment on Twitter that they and other users with verified accounts have an option on their settings to only view tweets made by other verified Twitter accounts. What this does is cut out the trolls from their feeds and leaves only people who are held accountable by using their real identities.
Another reason would be the increasing presence of Influencers on Social Media. As we’ve mentioned in a different post, companies are starting to use more and more micro influencers. The number of followers someone has is no longer a cut and dry indicator of the level of influence a person has. Because influencer marketing on Twitter is so frequent it is important that users are able to find these influencers as quickly as possible.
If you really just want a verification mark, you should apply! You do need to back up why you deserve one, meaning, how much pull you have. You can accomplish this by hiring a PR firm to help brand you or you could do this by spending money on Twitter advertisement.
Because it is open to the public, how important it is for your followers to find you, and how much we detest unwarranted anonymity, we at Pfeiffer Law encourage you to apply for your Twitter verification.
Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.