Twitter user @nima_owji, who describes himself as an “independent app researcher and blogger,” posted a tweet today with a screenshot claiming to show a new Twitter feature that would require government ID verification for accounts.
“#X keeps working on the ID verification,” he wrote. “You should upload a photo of your ID and take a live selfie.”
Owji didn’t respond to questions about how he was able to obtain the screenshot of the ID verification screen or verify the existence of the feature.
Daily Dot wasn’t able to independently verify whether the feature existed. Twitter has used ID verification before, prior to Elon Musk’s takeover, to verify blue check users.
“The ID verification has actually been added to the web app front-end code,” Owlji wrote in a followup tweet.
“Does that mean it’s probably soon?” asked @HXMnCK.
“Looks almost ready!” @nima_owji replied.
However, some threw water on the rollout.
“NOTE: This will be a completely *optional* way for Premium users to further verify their identity and prove they are who they say they are,” wrote Twitter user @xDaily, which claims to be “Your #1 News source on everything X (fka Twitter).”
“It will not be required,” they added.
Still, the new shook up the timeline.
“NO ONE ASKED FOR THIS” wrote Twitter user @SaeeDiCaprio in a viral tweet, echoing concerns among many about what de-anonymizing users would do to the site, a frequent worry since Musk took over.
Some users worried about the security implications.
“next server breach on this site gonna be something fantastic,” wrote Twitter user @adifying.
“I ain’t trusting Elon with this shit, no fucking way,” wrote Twitter user @VoiceQuills, “I’m not about to have my ID stolen cause I uploaded it to fucking X like an example of what not to do in an early 2000’s PSA about Internet safety.”
The screenshot @nima_owji posted has a field for users to give consent to their ID being shared with a company called Au10tix as well as “biometric data, and personal data from my profile … for the purpose of confirming my identity.”
That company, Au10tix, provides identity verification services to hundreds of companies like PayPal, Google, Uber, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, and Grab.
Au10tix didn’t respond to a question asking for confirmation that they’d been hired by Twitter or X to provide those services.
Right-wing bluecheck posters didn’t seem happy about the new policy either.
“Nope. Won’t be doing that!” wrote Twitter user @ChiefTrumpster.
“Hahaha just upload your ID to a website run by a bunch of people who hate you what could go wrong hahahahaha!!!” wrote Twitter user @CryptoOnlyCoims.
Other users wrote that if verification was rolled out, many people would say goodbye to the site.
“Lmao 90 percent of twitter will just leave your site bro,” wrote Twitter user KaoticLeftist.
“You mean I have to submit a photo ID with my address and Information on it to a website that fired their security division?” replied @cmikehawke. “Why would I do that?”
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*First Published: Aug 16, 2023, 3:37 pm CDT