Microblogging platform Twitter has announced that it is bringing back its verification application process after a long hiatus.

The social media giant announced on its blog Thursday that a new official way to apply for a blue tick would be rolling out over the next few weeks.

“It gives people on Twitter more context about who they’re having conversations with so they can determine if it’s trustworthy, which our research has shown leads to healthier, more informed conversations,” Twitter said.

The blue verification badge, which appears next to a user’s handle, is the main way that the platform helps people ascertain the authenticity of Twitter accounts that are of high public interest.

“Over the next few weeks, everyone on Twitter will start to see the new verification application directly in the Account Settings tab. If you don’t see this update immediately today, don’t worry! We’re gradually rolling it out to everyone to ensure that we can review applications in a timely manner,” Twitter said.

To qualify for verification, however, users must fit the criteria of one of six categories: government officials, companies, brands and organisations, news organisations and journalists, entertainment, sports and gaming, activists, organisers and other influential individuals in communities.

In November 2017, Twitter stopped receiving public requests for verification after what it termed as misinterpretation of the blue badge to mean an endorsement or an indicator of importance.

“Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon,” the US-based tech giant said back in 2017.

The social media platform says it is working on a strategy to expand the eligibility criteria in order to make the process more representative.

“We know that the current verification policy may not represent all of the people who should be eligible to be verified on Twitter, so we’re planning to introduce more categories later this year, such as those for scientists, academics, and religious leaders.”

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