Twitter has quite a troublesome history with verified accounts. For a long time, it's been unclear when an account qualifies to get the blue checkmark, and following controversy over verified white supremacists in 2017, the company essentially halted the program, promising to revamp it in the future. It looks like that time is about to come, as app sleuth Jane Manchun Wong spotted some code on the Twitter website pointing to a "Request verification" option in Settings.
After this discovery, TechCrunch reached out to Twitter to ask the company about its plans, and it confirmed that it's working to bring the feature back for everyone. In contrast to the past, the social network also wants to publish public guidelines on how and when accounts would be allowed to become verified. Previously, Twitter only had internal rules that supposedly stated that any account of "public interest" would be able to get the blue checkmark.
Twitter is working on “Request Verification” 👀
(I’m not Twitter employee. I’m not tech support) pic.twitter.com/ED58QsD7kM
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) June 7, 2020
Since this secrecy routinely led to confusion, restarting the program with more and clearer communication makes sense. The guidelines could even be refined and overhauled in some public discourse, which hasn't been possible with the internal rules before. Twitter hasn't stated when the new Settings page or guidelines would go live, but with some code already present on the website, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't take too long. In the meantime, only a select few accounts are able to get verified, among them elected officials and COVID-19 health experts.