Twitter appears to be testing a new verification process for Twitter Blue followers that would involve submitting government ID. The code-level information reveals a process for sending a photo of the user’s ID, front and back, as well as a selfie photo to verify their Twitter account. The feature is listed along with others only available to Twitter Blue subscribers, such as support for editing tweets, uploading longer videos, organizing bookmarks with folders, and other Twitter benefits. paid subscription.
The ID upload feature was discovered in Twitter’s code last week by product intelligence firm Watchful.ai, but it’s unclear at this time whether it’s being tested externally. The company told TechCrunch it believes the feature is being tested in the US, where it was found in the Android version of the Twitter app. However, it’s unclear how many (or if any) Twitter users are actually seeing the feature at this time.
Twitter, as you may recall, controversially overhauled its verification process under the ownership of Elon Musk, moving away from an older system where users were verified if they were notable people in the world. some sort – like celebrities, politicians or other public figures – to a system where users could simply pay for the verification check.
This system had some problems when first launched, as users verified themselves and then started impersonating other people or even high profile companies, leading to chaos. Twitter then had to pause the system, retool it, and relaunch it with increased protections. He also created a way for businesses to verify themselves and receive a gold checkmark and said he would label certain high profile accounts with an “official” badge.
Yet, even though the revamped system requires a phone number to be verified, it has proven vulnerable to the threat of identity theft. As The Washington Post reported earlier this year, Twitter’s system didn’t ask for photo ID when verifying, which allowed a reporter to add the blue verified badge to a fake account claiming to be that of a US senator.
Adding a photo ID and selfie requirement to Twitter Blue’s verification process could help combat identity theft if the feature were to roll out more widely.
In screenshots provided to TechCrunch by Watchful.ai, Twitter informs users that the new verification process will take approximately three minutes and that their information and images will be shared with a third party in an effort to confirm their identity. This indicates that Twitter itself isn’t handling the verification process, but is working with a vendor to do the heavy lifting here.
Although many people continue to believe that verification should be a service provided to the community, rather than a paid offering, Twitter’s decision to turn influencer research into a paid feature was later adopted by Meta because she is looking for new sources of income outside of advertising. Last week, Meta launched paid verification on Facebook and Instagram in the US, following earlier rollouts in Australia and New Zealand. His system allows users to purchase his blue tick for a monthly fee. However, in Meta’s case, verification also offers identity theft protection and direct access to customer support, which creators and businesses may find valuable.
If launched publicly, identity-based government verification would be a significant change for Twitter’s identity verification system, which today is more focused on providing Twitter Blue subscribers with increased visibility. on the platform, where their tweets are prioritized in the notification timeline. But while Twitter can now verify that someone is a human with a real phone numberit does not necessarily indicate that they are who they say they are, as Washington Post tests had indicated.
Twitter doesn’t respond to press inquiries (beyond sometimes emailing poop emoji), so don’t expect a comment.
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