Jaded: Journalism with a Touch of Shade
Across a number of social media platforms the blue checkmark has become a coveted symbol of importance and legitimacy. This post focuses on Instagram specifically as I recently decided to try and get verification even though I have been on the platform for years.- My reasoning being I am putting out more News now than ever and thought It would be helpful to get verified and also would have thought a page like mine that is a news service of sorts- is one that Instagram would want to verify. So, I went into the app and tapped Request Verification- filled it in and sent my Driver’s License photo. Then the brief wait began. Within 72 hrs I received a message that said my profile didn’t meet verification standards (not sure of the phraseology) something like that, and that I could re-apply in 30 days.
I decided to look at what was known about the process and per Instagram’s Help Center, this is what I found:
What are the requirements to apply for a verified badge on Instagram?
We look at a number of factors when evaluating Instagram accounts to determine if they’re in the public interest and meet our verification criteria.
• Authentic: Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
• Unique: Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. We don’t verify general interest accounts (example: @puppymemes).
• Complete: Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo and at least one post. Your profile can’t contain “add me” links to other social media services.
• Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don’t consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.
Having been on Radio, Television, Digital and Print Media, I was surprised to find out I apparently wasn’t “notable”. Feeling hurt aside though, I decided to look across their platform for other Black Owned Businesses to see the status of their accounts- and overwhelmingly I could sense that we are under-represented by that blue checkmark.
Along the way I came across a whole movement called Verify Black – which is asking social media platforms to implement a special verification process and symbol for Black-owned businesses. A Change.org Petition states Verify Black is an “initiative designed to enhance the identification and promotion of Black businesses across Instagram and Twitter, social media platforms”. Apparently, I’m not the first to understand that we don’t seem to have the same opportunities as other influencers and businesses on these platforms, comforting- but not!
Verification on social media seems consistently, inconsistent. You come across pages where people who should be verified are not, and people who arguably should not be verified, have been. Another problem is scammers and reportedly Instagram’s own employees have found ways to sell blue checks to just about anyone.
( Per the Help Center) Here’s How To Verify Your Business on Instagram
Right now, only some public figures, celebrities and brands have verified badges. You can request a verification badge with the steps below. However, submitting a request does not guarantee that your account will be verified.
1. Go to your profile
2. Tap Settings.
3. Tap Account, then tap Request Verification.
4. After you’ve filled out the form, tap Send we will review your request.
What I wonder is – how diverse are the people behind the scenes making the decisions? And, how diverse is their view of our brands and news sources. Do they recognize the “notability” a subject may have in the urban community and its news cycles,-does that count?
In the meantime I’m in the dark on this elusive acceptance process like everyone else. However, since my last attempt at IG verification, I was placed in Wikipedia, which has similar “notability” requirements and my business is Google Verified. When the 30 days are up- I will reapply.