A running joke between folks who work in the media has been that the only people on Twitter are journalists with "blue checkmarks" talking to one another. Of course, millions of people who aren't journalists do use it everyday.
That once bonafide method of authenticating journalists on the platform changed this week as the "blue checkmark" was made available to anyone willing to pay $8 a month for the company's "Twitter Blue" premium service.
Refining "verification" is one of the first priorities of new Twitter owner Elon Musk, who also fired roughly half of Twitter's staff last Friday and is pledging to make significant changes to the social media platform.
Twitter's "legacy" verification process was often a source of mystery to users. It sought to verify people under the criteria of "authentic, notable and active." For the most part, that meant journalists, celebrities, news outlets, politicians and big brands. This was done to stave off impersonation on the platform. Many see the checkmark as a status symbol, sometimes picking fights with people considered to be in a lower class who were verified.
Those who were considered notable could fill out a form in the app and were asked to submit examples of work (such as a news reporter's story with their name on it) and/or their government-issued identification. Some businesses also had Twitter representatives that they could work with who would assist with verification, particularly brands that spent money on advertising on the platform.
In the new world, as of now, anyone willing to pay $8 a month can get a blue checkmark, without any form of identity verification. This has already led to impersonation (something Elon Musk states he is against) and confusion, especially right after an election.
At first, Twitter tried to distinguish legacy verified persons over paid verified with an additional gray "Official" mark underneath their name, which was swiftly removed later in the day. Now, to determine if a person was verified under the legacy rules or paid, they have to go to their profile and click on the checkmark and see one of two options: denoting if they were verified as part of the legacy process or if they paid for the subscription to "Twitter Blue."
This is an example of an organization (us) who was authentically verified under the legacy process.
And this is an example of someone (or an organization) that "paid" for verification.
Naturally, journalists and media organizations are concerned with these recent changes and more importantly, want to make sure that people know how to distinguish authentic news sources on Twitter vs. inauthentic sources.
With that, we wanted to share the authentic Twitter accounts of FOX 5 DC's reporters, anchors and contributors. Their Twitter accounts are linked to their biographical pages here on fox5dc.com (and may have other social media platforms they use as well including Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok).
Melanie Alnwick - @fox5melanie
Claire Anderson - @ClaireFOX5DC
Katie Barlow - @katieleebarlow
Bob Barnard - @barnardfox5dc
Tucker Barnes - @tuckerfox5
Nana-Sentuo Bonsu - @NSBonsu_
Matthew Cappucci - @MatthewCappucci
Steve Chenevey - @stevechenevey
Joe Clair - @joeclair
Erin Como - @erinfox5dc
Jennifer Delgado - @jendelgadofox
Rob Desir - @rob_desir
Tom Fitzgerald - @fitzfox5dc
Sierra Fox - @thesierrafox
Angie Goff - @ohmygoff
David Kaplan - @dkaplanfox5dc
Ayesha Khan - @ayeshakhannews
Tisha Lewis - @tishalewis
Jim Lokay - @lokayfox5
Marina Marraco - @marinamarraco
Wisdom Martin - @wisdomfox5
Jacqueline Matter - @jmatter_tv
Kevin McCarthy - @kevinmccarthyTV
Marissa Mitchell - @marissamfox5
Holly Morris - @hollylivefox5dc
Sue Palka - @suepalkafox5dc
Shirin Rajaee - @shirinrajaee
Stephanie Ramirez - @ramirezreports
Jeannette Reyes - @fox5dcjeannette
Josh Rosenthal - @joshrosenthaltv
Caitlin Roth - @caitlinrothfox5
Mike Thomas - @miketfox5
Gwen Tolbart - @gwenfox5dc
Maureen Umeh - @maureenumehfox5
Lindsay Watts - @lindsayawatts
We're also including some folks who are contributors or other employees of FOX 5 DC that don't have a biographical page.
Kyle Carmean - @fox5kyle
John Colucci - @johncolucci
Ashley Darby - @_ashleydarby
Paul McGonagle - @pmcgonagle
Patrick Paolini Jr. - @patrickgmfox5dc
Producer Haylee - @hayleerademann
Producer Chris - @chris_fox5dc
Producer Corey - @producercorey
Chad Ricardo - @realchadricardo
Elissa Salamy - @elissa_salamy
Also, it's worth remembering that on any social media platform or way you get your news, it's important to "consider the source" and "consider the context" as our own David Kaplan often reminds us.