Why wait for the blue check mark when you can get a shield with ‘verified phone number’ right above your following count. And since you can have ten different accounts under one phone number, that is ten verified (phone number) accounts for you. So yes it is true, Twitter is now verifying your phone number, but in an effort to do what exactly?
This feature was first noticed by user (and security researcher) Jane Manchun Wong, who pointed out that Twitter is working on this verification feature. Though it is important to note that you do not need a phone number to create an account on Twitter, you can sign up with an email address instead, but those are the only two options for creating an account.
Twitter told TechCrunch that this feature is a way to help people find credible information. They also said that this verification is one part of the process (what process we don’t know), and the verification is being tested with an opt-in setting, but no information was provided on how widespread the test and who can actually see the badge.
The company has yet to get back to Gizmodo regarding if this is an attempt to get rid of bot accounts, as well as the full purpose of the badge. Especially considering the current Elon Musk legal drama that is underway, and just generally looking at the many times Musk has mentioned bots on Twitter’s platform.
It seems like Twitter is going through a bit of a rough patch these past few months and is just trying its best between the Musk lawsuit and a mountain of allegations recently made by a whistleblower.
And in July reports came out that Twitter suffered a data breach. What originally happened, according to Twitter’s blog, was in January Twitter found a report of a vulnerability in the system. If you were to submit a phone number or email to the system, the system would tell you what account was associated with the number or email. Though it was patched, someone took advantage of this vulnerability during the time and we found out in July that someone was trying to leverage that information. This breach affected millions of users.
If you were affected by that breach, Twitter would have informed you. But to protect your account Twitter wrote on their blog the following:
“If you operate a pseudonymous Twitter account, we understand the risks an incident like this can introduce and deeply regret that this happened. To keep your identity as veiled as possible, we recommend not adding a publicly known phone number or email address to your Twitter account.”
But what does this mean for getting that verification badge? Well if you aren’t providing your number, you will obviously not get the ‘verified phone number’ badge. Twitter has not yet responded to Gizmodo’s question about how this verification would affect users that use their email to sign up for the social media site, or if this previous advice will change or impact this new feature.
If you’re a user who uses their phone number for Twitter keep an eye out for this badge, and let us know if you are one of the so far few users that have a phone number verification.