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Not a Peep From Twitter on How They "Verify" Celeb Accounts

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When Charlie Sheen took his batshit crazypants antics to Twitter on March 1, he had tens of thousands of fans before the first Tweet even went out. How did people know it was the "real" Charlie Sheen, tiger's blood, sweat, and tears? That little blue "verified" check mark meant that the folks at Twitter knew it was the real deal, and not the account "squatter." But as the Wall Street Journal explains today, how they know is their little secret.

"Twitter refused to explain the process," says the WSJ, who report that the California-based company told them via e-mail the social media company's insiders "continue to very selectively verify accounts most at risk for impersonation on a one-off and highly irregular basis.”

Some celebs ask to be verified, which can lend their account credibility and ensure followers skip out on the imposters. Others attest to the account suddenly becoming "verified," (though the WSJ doesn't say if their example case celeb, Dane Cook, maybe had the account be verified by someone on his management team).

When Verified Accounts launched in June 2009, Mashable shared how Twitter explained the process: [A "Verified Account"] means we’ve been in contact with the person or entity the account is representing and verified that it is approved. (This does not mean we have verified who, exactly, is writing the tweets.)"

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Twitter adds that, conversely, if a celeb account is not verified, that doesn't necessarily mean it's inauthentic. Also, not all celebs Tweet for themselves; many pass the task on to an assistant or PR rep, or share the account with others.