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How to get verified on Facebook, Twitter as a journalist

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The emergence of social media has apparently changed the traditional pattern of journalism, with a large number of journalists and media houses now relying, to some extent, on micro-blogging apps like Twitter, community platforms like Facebook, and Instagram for news sourcing and monitoring.

While this — all thanks also to artificial intelligence — is a significant landmark signposting a broadly advanced shift in the works of reporters, editors, copy editors and total newsroom culture, these social media platforms have mapped out a formulated set of rules and standard policies for their users.

Twitter and Facebook are arguably the most popular of these social media platforms, based on the number of monetizable and active users according to Statista, a German company specialising in market and consumer data.

As of the first quarter of 2021, Twitter had 199 million while Facebook boasted roughly 2.85 billion monthly active users globally which make it the most popular app.

With the continued global embrace of the internet, these powerful apps have adopted a means of authenticating their users. And among those at the mercy of this verification are journalists.

Verification on Twitter

For journalists, Twitter is the best news sourcing site, having over the time evolved from being a regular community to the best place to seek genuine information, though with no exception to the spread of fake news. 

The micro-blogging platform has its verification represented by the “blue tick badge.” The verification checkmark is a badge of authenticity and credibility and is still one of the most sought after according to Business Insider.

However, the verification is not for everyone. To be eligible to get verified, your account must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Government
  2. Companies, brands, and organizations
  3. News organizations and journalists
  4. Entertainment
  5. Sports and gaming
  6. Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals

Your account must also adhere to the Twitter Rules which require:

Complete: You must have a profile name, and a profile image; 

Active use: You must have logged into the account in the last 6 months;

Security: The account must have a confirmed email address or phone number; and

Twitter Rules: The account must not have had a 12-hour or 7-day lockout for violating the Twitter Rules in the past 6 months (excluding successful appeals).

And here we go!

If you fulfil the criteria for a blue verification check, then you are good to go!

1. Log into your account, then click “More” on the left side of the page.

2. Click “Settings and privacy,” which will open up your account settings menu.

   Screenshot of Twitter Setting leading to verification. Credit: Twitter.com/shugaban

3. On the right side of the page, click “Account information.” Here, you may be asked to re-enter your password again to proceed.

        Screenshot of Twitter Setting leading to verification. Credit: Twitter.com/shugaban

4. On the account information page, you will see a tab that says “Verified.” Underneath it, click on “Request Verification.”

  Screenshot of Twitter setting leading showing Verified. Credit: William Antonelli/Insider

If instead of “Request Verification”, your Twitter Verified tab shows “Learn More,” it means your activities on Twitter are low. And you will have to engage the app more to be recognised by Twitter as an active user.

        Screenshot of Twitter verification page. Credit: Twitter/shugaban.

5. But if you are shown “Request Verification”, a pop-up will appear explaining what verification means. Click “Start request.”

      Beginning the verification process. Credit:William Antonelli

6. After this, you will be asked to select one of the six (6) categories you fall into. Select one and click “Next.” It is there you will be asked for more proof that you actually fit in that category. 

This proof may include news articles written about or by you, your official website, or a certain follower threshold.

Here you prove that you’re qualified to be verified by Twitter. Credit: Credit:William Antonelli

7. The next move is that you will be asked to submit a picture of your government-issued ID, your official email address, or a link to your official website.

            You select how to identify yourself. Credit: Willliam Antonelli.

8. The last step is that Twitter will ask you to review what you have submitted. If you are convinced, then you click on “Submit.”

N B: Your verification process may take up to a week. If you are lucky, you get VERIFIED.

Facebook Verification

The Facebook verification process is of two (2) kinds: the general process and one for journalists working with companies which are business partners with Facebook. Do not forget that Facebook is now paying for media contents including video.

Let starts from the second: 

  1. About Journalist Registration

For this process of registration, the journalist or freelance contributor working in an editorial capacity for a news organisation that is registered as a news Page on Facebook is allowed to register as a journalist on Facebook with his personal Facebook account.

The benefit is that registered journalists will receive stronger security features that further protect their Facebook and Instagram accounts, and may be eligible for other benefits, such as Blue Badge verification.

You can read more here

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/620369758565492?id=1843027572514562

Eligibility

Before you begin the registration process, please make sure:

  • Your Facebook Profile has a profile image, cover image, and at least one post.
  • The name listed on your Facebook Profile is identical to, or closely matches the name listed in your article bylines or on the publisher’s staff directory.

How to register

If you meet all of the criteria mentioned above, you can begin the registration process.

Follow the instructions.

  1. General Verification Process

1. To begin the verification, visit https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/295038365360854.

2. There, you will be asked to select what you want to verify between “page or profile.”

3.  You will then be asked to confirm your identity with one of the National ID cards, Passport, Utility Bill, Driver’s License, Tax Filing and Article of Incorporation.

             Facebook verification. Credit: Facebook.

4. Then you will be asked to select the category your profile represents. Journalists can pick the News/Media category.

5. You can then select your country and region and provide answers to other questions.

6. Provide the links that show you as an author or contributor in your company.  And then click SEND

Your request will be forwarded to Facebook for review. If you are eligible, you will be verified but if your profile algorithm is low, you may be told to reseek verification in the next 30 days.

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The researcher produced this media literacy article per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Legit.ng to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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