Twitter is testing account verification with your phone, applying a special badge to those declared “real”

Trying to repair its badly damaged image in the wake of the Elon Musk scandal over fake accounts, Twitter administrators are testing a verification system that should screen accounts run by real people from those used in click farms.

The problem is that in the current implementation Twitter allows multiple user accounts to be registered using the same phone number. Apparently unaware of this critical issue, Twitter administrators are testing the phone number verification feature with any account registered using that number. As a result, users with enough time to spare can even end up with 10 verified Twitter accounts with the same phone number, all receiving a special badge next to their profile picture.

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Apparently, the only thing really demonstrated is that, at one point, a real person spent a little time associating that account with a phone number and getting that badge. Otherwise, Twitter does not make account registration conditional on association with a phone number, much less one unique to each account, leaving the door wide open for the creation of any number of duplicate accounts or accounts used for SPAM purposes. The only limitation is the association with a unique email address, the creation of which is very easy to automate for administrators of so-called click farms, SPAM or large-scale disinformation.

According to the official explanation, the new phone-based account verification feature is intended to help users more easily find information from credible sources. At the same time, Twitter administrators also claim that the new verification is part of a larger (so far undisclosed) process, hence the optional status assigned during the testing period. What is certain is that the microblogging platform is going through a troubled phase of its existence, having attracted a lot of unwanted attention following the so far failed attempt to sell it to billionaire Elon Musk, who accused the current owners of inflating the platform’s real number of users by tolerating the proliferation of so-called fake accounts.

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