The "verified" program started with the blue check mark as a beta in 2009, primarily because a number of celebrities had complained about fake accounts pretending to be them, and the company said it wanted to help users figure out which were real. For a time, anyone could apply to have their account verified by using a form on the Twitter website, but this was later phased out and verification is now done on what the company calls a "case by case" basis, including advertisers and partners.
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