x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UAE telecoms regulator requests Twitter verification for government accounts

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority says the move is to ensure the public gets access to authentic and reliable information and news.

DUBAI // The telecoms regulator is in talks with social networking site Twitter over verification for government accounts.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) wants all government entities’ accounts on the social media platform to bear the blue and white tick icon, which confirms the legitimacy of an account.

The regulator said the move was to ensure the public got access to authentic and reliable information and news.

“We recognise the importance of social media and its increasing role in the instantaneous provision of news and information to the public,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA deputy director general and mGovernment director.

“The strengths of social media include flexibility and convenience of access thus, allowing everybody to participate in topical discussion and publish opinion,” he said. “It is critical that government authorities and institutions have verified Twitter accounts to provide a publicly trusted source of information.”

Mr Al Mansoori said that officials at Twitter, who control the verification process, have been contacted to try to obtain the validation for the accounts.

“Social media experts working closely with us have been in constant communication with Twitter’s website management team to ensure that all verified government entity Twitter accounts bear the blue verified √ badge on its profile,” he added.

Some government entities have verification, including the Ministry of Economy (@Economyae) and Dubai Police (@DubaiPoliceHQ), but others, including the Ministry of Finance (@MOFUAE) and Ministry of Health (@UAEMOH) are yet to receive the tick.

The TRA has invited government departments who wish to be verified to contact them.

Once approved, a badge is shown in the top-right portion of a user’s profile page.

Twitters guidelines state: “Verification is currently used to establish authenticity of identities of key individuals and brands on Twitter.

“Twitter proactively verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they’re looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas. We are constantly updating our requirements for verification. Note, verification does not factor in follower count or Tweet count.”

ksinclair@thenational.ae