I started following Martha Stewart on Twitter because I had heard that she tweets recipes. How hard can a recipe be if it’s tweeted? But then I got to wondering: am I following the real Martha Stewart? What if someone is impersonating Martha on Twitter? I know this happens a lot because there are dozens of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama accounts.
It turns out that Twitter now offers Verified Accounts. When an account is verified by Twitter, it means they’ve been “in contact with the person or entity the account is representing” and verified that it is indeed the official Twitter account for that person. It does not mean, however, that Twitter has verified that the person is actually writing the tweets. Not having a verified account does not mean that the account is not the official account, either. (Hmmm… too many NOTs in that sentence.)
So, back to Martha. The Martha Stewart Twitter account I found has a little blue check mark in the top-right corner; this indicates that the account has been verified. So even if Martha is not doing the actual tweeting, there’s a good chance the recipes are actually hers.
Verified Accounts are still in beta and Twitter is not recommending that everyone go out and verify their accounts. Twitter says they’re “starting with well-known accounts that have had problems with impersonation or identity confusion. (For example, well-known artists, athletes, actors, public officials, and public agencies).” So if you, your boss, or someone you know is a celebrity who is dealing with impersonation problems, you can fill out a Twitter Verification Request form. Twitter won’t promise they’ll verify your account but they do promise to put you on the list.
Be on the lookout for the little blue check and let me know if you or someone you know gets verified!
P.S. I know the photo above is not Martha Stewart. I wa NOT going to chance a letter from Martha’s attorney, so I cleverly found a photo that sort of looks like Martha, to further emphasize why some folks need Verified Accounts.