New Delhi: In a significant development, the Twitter India on Friday announced that it is reopening the public account verification process, which will commence from January 2021. To go ahead with the verification process, Twitter India has announced its revamped policies that aim to better define which profiles qualify for the new verification setup. Apart from this, the new verification policies also define scope for accounts that would be disqualified from retaining the blue tick verification badge, in line with Twitter’s new verified accounts policies. Also Read - Information Technology Rules, 2021: Govt Announces Guidelines to Regulate Social Media, OTT Platforms | Key Points

The new verification policies from Twitter India include no requirement for users to have a profile bio or a header (banner) image any longer. The Twitter has also claimed to better define the categories to which each person should belong to, when filing the verification form. For example, the ‘news’ category has now been revised to include ‘news and journalists’. Similarly, the sports category has also been revised to now include esports – which in turn will also feature both companies and personalities. Also Read - Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok Adopt Australian Misinformation Code to Address Spread of Fake News

Very interesting to see that in the ‘news and journalism’ category, Twitter’s new verification policy states that journalists applying for account verification “must adhere to recognised professional standards for journalism such as those laid out by the Society of Professional Journalists, Independent Press Standards Organisation, and International Federation of Journalists, or have committed to the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles.” Also Read - Bigg Boss 14 Winner Rubina Dilaik's Hubby Abhinav Shukla, Rashami Desai And Her Fans Give Big Shout Out To Her

On the other hand, the professional individuals within government sector, ‘companies, brands and organisations’ (such as a company’s authorised public spokesperson), and entertainment will qualify for verification subject to other ancillary criteria, along with the news and sports categories.

Rest of the eligible category for verification are defined as ‘activists, organisers and other influential individuals’, which stand for independent public figures in various fields, scopes and capacities.

Moreover, the social platform has also revised the follower count and engagement criteria for accounts applying for verification, and the same is now reflected on a per-region basis, and is not a blanket number for all accounts.

Twitter said it is initiating its revamped strategy for public verification in the coming months and it also seeks to fill up gaps that the platform has been alleged to have in assigning the blue verification tick to many users. In a statement, Twitter Indian confirmed that once the feature goes live next year, users will be able to see a ‘request verification’ option in their account settings.