The mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, has made the unusual request to have his Twitter verification removed. In a tweet posted this morning, Fulop said he wanted his account to return to its unverified status. “I kind of took pride in that,” he said, “it reinforced I shouldn’t take myself too seriously and just work hard in my job.”
On the face of it, Fulop’s request makes little sense. Twitter verification ostensibly just proves that he is who he says he is, and prevents other accounts from trying to imitate him. But that little blue tick (which, yes, is technically white if you want to get pedantic about it) signifies so much more than that. Whatever Twitter’s intentions, it implies you’re important, that you’re famous, or — most controversially — that Twitter has given you its tacit approval.
My @twitter account was never verified b4. I kind of took pride in that. (I think I filled the form out once + I must have been rejected). It reinforced I shouldn’t take myself to seriously + just work hard in my job. It looks like verified yesterday+ now I would like 2 go back— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) May 13, 2019
Whatever your feelings toward the blue tick, accounts that have it stand out on your timeline and make their owners seem important, and it sounds like that’s what Fulop is objecting to. He wants to blend in with his constituents. A blue tick is like wearing a blazer and tie on the campaign trail; sometimes it’s better to ditch it and roll up your sleeves instead.
Unfortunately for Fulop, Twitter’s verification process is still in a bit of flux. Earlier this year the social network said it was pausing its work on retooling its verification system, meaning it’s still an opaque process that’s mostly impossible to understand.