It takes certain credentials to become a verified human in this world—unless you're on Mastodon, that is.
While Twitter makes its little birdies fly through hoops to earn that exclusive verification tick beside their names, Mastodon—the brand new open-source version of Twitter, and maybe even the social network's latest competition—makes the coveted symbol much more accessible. Seriously.
Like Twitter, 24-year-old Eugen Rochko's platform, Mastodon, allows users to create accounts, interact with others, and post status updates. But rest assured, the two sites have several key differences. Aside from updates being called "toots" instead of tweets ? one key difference is that Mastodon lacks the ability to officially verify its users, at least right now. That hasn't stopped users from "verifying" themselves, though.
Somehow, over the last few days, various accounts with checkmarks have started to appear on Mastadon. Curious and slightly skeptical that something in life could be so simple, I made an account to see for myself, and much to my surprise, within the first five minutes of my Mastodon life, I too, was verified.
Here's my name and official-looking tick for proof:
So, if there's no official verification process, how are all these users are getting verified? It's as easy as a simple copy-and-paste job.
All you need is this green check mark emoji ✅ and a belief that you have what it takes to become verified, or at least give others the illusion that you are. Simply click "edit profile" and copy and paste the emoji next to your name to make the magic happen.
No, it's not as official as Twitter's classic blue badge, but Mastodon's fake verification process gives you options. If you want to be a little rebellious while still maintaining the appearance of a "verified user," you can swap out these other check mark emoji instead to fit your desired mood: ☑️ or ✔️.
Though Twitter simplified its verification process back in 2016, compared to a simple copy and paste job, it's still fairly strenuous, and, you know, real. You have to submit a form to request account verification which will require some personal information including a phone number, email address, bio, etc—but again, please keep in mind that unlike Mastodon, Twitter's process is, uh, legitimate.
While tech reporter Jack Morris thinks Mastodon is a straight-up beast with the potential to take down Twitter, Mashable's Lance Ulanoff and his pal William Shatner weren't very wow-ed by Mastodon's attempts to become a prominent platform, and it's clear social media users who highly favor Twitter's verification process will likely agree with them.