Combatting impersonation and enhancing user security, X, formerly known as Twitter, has introduced a new feature for its paid users – government ID-based account verification.
Designed to enhance the platform’s user authentication process and boost online safety, this verification service is accessible in numerous countries, notably excluding the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and the United Kingdom. This omission is likely attributed to the stringent data protection regulations governing these regions.
However, the immediate benefits of the ID-based verification process appear limited. X has hinted at age-gating certain content based on the age information derived from the government ID. Moreover, the company has expressed its intention to explore additional measures, such as ensuring access to age-appropriate content and combating spam and malicious accounts, to preserve the platform’s integrity and foster healthy conversations.
For users who complete the verification process, a note indicating “government ID verified” will be displayed, but only visible upon clicking the blue checkmark on their profile page. Additionally, X has promised “prioritized support from X Services” for ID-verified users, although the specifics of this advantage remain somewhat unclear.
Interestingly, X recently introduced an option for paid users to hide their verification checkmarks from their profiles. Looking ahead, the company intends to expedite the checkmark review process for users who verify their IDs, allowing them more flexibility to change their names, usernames, or profile photos without sacrificing their verified status.
It is important to note that X’s ID-based verification is currently limited to paid users, which has raised questions about the platform’s commitment to reducing impersonation and spam for all its users.
This development follows Twitter’s discontinuation of its legacy verification program earlier this year, which resulted in the removal of checkmarks from numerous accounts. Due to the ensuing confusion and uproar, the company eventually reinstated the checkmark for select prominent accounts.
X has joined forces with Israel-based company Au10tix to implement cutting-edge identity verification solutions. When users opt for ID verification, a pop-up message informs them that Au10tix might store their data for a maximum of 30 days, raising potential privacy concerns.
The introduction of government ID-based verification represents a significant step for X as it seeks to enhance user trust, safety, and authenticity on its platform. However, questions about privacy and the equitable distribution of verification tools to all users linger in the wake of this announcement.