Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Trusts, No Longer Verifies

On the Internet no one knows you’re a dog. And on Twitter, no one knows if you’re really Kim Kardashian. Unless Twitter says so, via its “verified account” badge.

But that system, introduced by Twitter back in June 2009, is going away.

The messaging service hasn’t taken down the icons it assigned to certain famous users, which were supposed to tell users they “can trust that a legitimate source is authoring their Tweets.” But in most cases, it is not assigning new badges.

Twitter actually shut down verification at the end of August, but almost no one seems to have noticed. Aside from this ClickZ story,  the only other mention I can find of the change is this vague note on Twitter’s help site, which says the company is going to replace the old system with a new one “that will be better for users.”

One reason Twitter and the famous people who use it have been able to soldier on: Verified accounts haven’t been completely closed–if you’re really, really important, the service may be able to help you out.

“We continue to very selectively verify accounts most at risk for impersonation on a one-off and highly irregular basis,” Twitter PR exec Carolyn Penner writes.

One recent worthy: Apple marketing exec Phil Schiller, who showed up on the service early, way back in 2008, but didn’t start actively using it until this month, when he earned the “verified” badge.

[Image credit: Annie Mole]

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work