Twitter has halted its recently introduced verification mechanism once again after it gave blue ticks to several fraudulent accounts. Twitter has temporarily halted verification requests and will not allow new persons to ask for verification as a result of the platform’s discovery that it had accidentally validated numerous bogus accounts.
Twitter stated in a blog post that it had erroneously approved verified applications and that it had now permanently suspended the accounts in issue as well as revoked their verified badge.
The rollout of access to apply for Verification has been temporarily halted to make changes to the application and assessment processes. We understand that this may come as a disappointment to many who have been waiting. We want to make sure everything is perfect, and we appreciate your patience,” Twitter stated through its verified Twitter account.
While Twitter has indicated that the false accounts were part of a botnet, Facebook’s former chief security officer, Alex Stamos, has suggested that the verification process may have been a sting operation carried out from within the organization.
“It’s possible that you have a malevolent or bribed insider. Something similar happened at IG (in that case, it was paid for by spammers),” Stamos wrote on Twitter.
It is not the first time that Twitter has taken a break from its verification procedure. Following widespread criticism that the verification procedure was confusing and arbitrary, Twitter suspended the service in early 2017. As the company explained at the time, many were confusing the checkmark with “an endorsement or a sign of prominence.”
As a result of the new Twitter verification rules, accounts must have been active within the last six months and meet one of several criteria, including the following: government, businesses and organizations, news outlets and journalists; entertainment; sports and gaming; activists; organizers; and other influential individuals.
Twitter has announced that it would be introducing new categories later this year, including ones for scientists, academics, and religious leaders, among others.
Twitter began its new verification application process in May, starting with six categories and assessing public submissions from across the world to assist users in earning the blue badge on the microblogging network.
The Blue Bird company also halted its blue badge verification program less than a week after it was launched, claiming that it is now processing the verification requests that have been sent to the company.
As noted by officials, individuals who seek a verified badge should not have been subjected to a 12-hour or 7-day lockout for breaking Twitter rules during the previous 12 months.
It has specifically listed the accounts that are not eligible to receive the verified badge, and this list includes accounts that are parodies or newsfeeds, commentary or unofficial fan accounts, pets and fictional characters, accounts associated with the coordinated harmful activity/hateful content, and accounts that have violated the company’s platform manipulation and spam policy, among others.