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Micro-blogging platform Twitter has decided to halt the expansion of its verification program till further notice. The move comes after the social media giant expressed its intent to work on the application and review process of admitting people to the blue checkmark club.

After this update, no more Twitter users will be allowed to apply for verification, owing to the company’s admission that it had discovered several fake accounts from a bigger botnet, which were wrongly verified. It can be deemed a move to ensure safety from the micro-blogging site, aiming to identify fake accounts.

The account verification process of the microblogging site has been controversial ever since its launch. It has dealt with several concerns when it comes to issuing a ‘verified’ badge to its users, which, at times, is perceived as an endorsement by various users. However, Twitter aligns the purpose of the verified badge to accounts that are “authentic, notable, and active.” Even the given criteria may come under public criticism as even celebrities, or known personalities may have their applications rejected, specifically in fake accounts.

This is not the first time that Twitter has halted the account verification process of the users. The giant took a similar step in 2017 when it received flak from the audience for verifying the Unite, The Right rally’s organizers in Charlottesville. In 2021, its public process of account verification had been revamped, followed by a pause due to several requests it had received.

For users who’ve recently applied for verification, they might get it as Twitter Verified said that it’ll still be reviewing existing applications. At the same time, the new applications will not be processed for the time being. Twitter has not mentioned whether it will implement any changes to the criteria that it uses to deem accounts as verifiable.

Speaking about the latest development, a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge the company would “resume rolling out applications in the next few weeks.”

Twitter’s verification programme was launched for the uninitiated with six categories – government; companies, brands, and organisations; news organisations and journalists; sports and gaming; entertainment; and activists, organisers, and other influential individuals. The company will likely add new categories later this year to include scientists, academics, and religious leaders.

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