A controversial Kenyan Member of Parliament has threatened to close his Twitter account if he does not receive the blue verification badge.
Babu Owino, who is the MP for Embakasi East revealed this after a user who runs a parody account associated with his name was verified. The user has however been unverified as of writing this article.
‘’If Twitter won’t verify my real account within the next few weeks then I’m sorry I will exit Twitter.Can’t/won’t settle for less at all’’ the MP Tweeted.
The blue Verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. In May this year, Twitter announced that it will be relaunching the verification months after it had halted the process.
So they verified a fake Babu Owino. These streets never lack humour. pic.twitter.com/NqvClKarqj
— Dr. John Njenga Karugia PhD. (@johnnjenga) July 19, 2021
‘’Over the past several months, we’ve been working to bring clarity to the verification eligibility criteria and launched a new policy shaped by public feedback. We also started enforcing that policy by automatically removing the verified badge from accounts that no longer meet the updated criteria for verification, such as those that are inactive or incomplete. We’re grateful for all who participated in our public feedback period and shared ideas for how we can improve verification on Twitter’’ Twitter said in a blog post.
Twitter verified several fake accounts
After the new verification process went live, questions were raised after a number of accounts were seen with the blue badge. Data scientist Conspirador Norteño discovered six verified accounts that had been verified despite being created recently according to a report published by the Daily Dot. None of these accounts had posted a single tweet, and two of them even appeared to be stock images while others seem to have been created with artificial intelligence.
Dozens of the accounts’ followers according to the report also looked the same as well, using computer-generated photos of humans and cats for their profiles.
Twitter went ahead and admitted that it has verified some fake accounts. Speaking to Daily Dot Twitter said “We mistakenly approved the verification applications of a small number of inauthentic (fake) accounts,”
“We have now permanently suspended the accounts in question, and removed their verified badge, under our platform manipulation and spam policy.”
According to Twitter, the blue badge is one of the ways to help people distinguish the authenticity of accounts that are of high public interest.
”It gives people on Twitter more context about who they’re having conversations with so they can determine if it’s trustworthy”