Gehören Sie zu den Ersten, denen das gefällt!
Social network and publishing platforms, such as Twitter, support the concept of verification. Veri-
fied accounts are deemed worthy of platform-wide public interest and are separately authenticated by the platform itself. There have been repeated assertions by these platforms about verification not being tan-
tamount to endorsement. However, a significant body of prior work suggests that possessing a verified
status symbolizes enhanced credibility in the eyes of the platform audience. As a result, such a station
is highly coveted among public figures and influencers. Hence, we attempt to characterize the network
of verified users on Twitter and compare the results to similar analyses performed for the entire Twit-
ter network. We extracted the whole graph of verified users on Twitter (as of July 2018) and obtained
231,246 English user-profiles and 79,213,811 connections. Subsequently, in the network analysis, we
found that the sub-graph of verified users mirrors the full Twitter users graph in some aspects, such as
possessing a short diameter. However, our findings contrast with earlier results on multiple fronts, such
as the possession of a power-law out-degree distribution, slight dissortativity, and a significantly higher
reciprocity rate, as elucidated in the paper. Moreover, we attempt to gauge the presence of salient com-
ponents within this sub-graph and detect the absence of homophily with respect to popularity, which
again is in stark contrast to the full Twitter graph. Finally, we demonstrate stationarity in the time series
of verified user activity levels.
It is in this backdrop that we attempt to deconstruct the extent to which Twitter’s verification policy
mingles the notions of authenticity and authority. To this end, we seek to unravel the aspects of a user’s
profile, which likely engender or preclude verification. The aim of the paper is two-fold: First, we test
if discerning the verification status of a handle from profile metadata and content features is feasible.
Second, we unravel the characteristics which have the most significant bearing on a handle’s verification
status. We augmented our dataset with all the 494 million tweets of the aforementioned users over a one
year collection period along with their temporal social reach and activity characteristics. Our proposed
models are able to reliably identify verification status (Area under curve AUC > 99%). We show that
the number of public list memberships, presence of neutral sentiment in tweets and an authoritative
language style are the most pertinent predictors of verification status.
To the best of our knowledge, this work represents the first quantitative attempt at characterizing
verified users on Twitter and also the first attempt at discerning and classifying verification worthy users