December 6, 2022

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Can you get verified on Mastodon? What to know.

4 min read

Years ago, Mastodon appeared in the midst of the many social media networks out there. But it’s really gaining recognition now as it basks in the light of Twitter’s dumpster fire.

In recent weeks, since Elon Musk’s Twitter became increasingly submerged in confusion and chaos, many people decided to migrate platforms. Mastodon became one such perceived alternative to Twitter, gaining a flurry of new users. The federated network, which is a collection of thousands of servers, operates differently to Twitter but it’s easy enough to switch over.

One primary difference? Verification. That concept alone has caused mayhem in the Twitterverse, mostly thanks to Musk completely derailing the original purpose of verification. Twitter’s new CEO decided to do away with the known verification process, instead “democratizing” the blue tick by offering it up for $8 with a Twitter Blue subscription.

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Bye, Twitter. All the cool kids are migrating to Mastodon.

Mastodon, however, does not have this relationship with verification or any such process. Mashable wrote about verification on Mastodon back in 2017, and while some things on Mastodon have changed, it remains true that “there’s no official verification process” here.

So, what can you get verified on Mastodon if not a profile?

In fact, there is no official verification process for profiles at all, as Mastodon says, “Document-based verification and blue ticks are not possible without a central authority.” The company can, however, verify links — Mastodon cross-references links on people’s profiles to confirm they’re the owner. According to the platform, this “can serve as the next-best-thing to identity verification.”

So, if you put a link in your Mastodon profile, the company “checks if the linked page links back to your Mastodon profile. If so, you get a verification checkmark next to that link, since you are confirmed as the owner.” The company does this by checking the rel=”me” attribute — a standard way to check whether or not linked website belongs to a user on a third party site. Sounds confusing, as does a lot with Mastodon, but essentially you will bag a verification checkmark for your link — though not necessarily your profile.

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Some tips Mastodon offers to pass verification are making sure the link you’re adding is served securely (over HTTPS) and to host Mastodon on your own domain.

Alternatively, as Mashable did a few years ago (see below our DIY steps), simply add a checkmark emoji next to your name. Tumblr would be proud — after all, it’s currently offering two useless blue checks for any user willing to dish out $7.99. – MN

How to get ‘verified’ on Mastodon without actually being verified

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 (read: pay) to earn that verification tick beside their names, Mastodon — the open-source version of Twitter — makes the coveted symbol much more accessible. Seriously.

Like Twitter, 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.

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.

Toot toot!

Here’s my name and official-looking tick for proof:

I’m official, baby!!!
Credit: Screenshot: Mastodon

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.

No, really.

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.

Me not “verified.”
Credit: Screenshot: Mastodon

Mastodon screenshot.

Me “verified.”
Credit: Screenshot: Mastodon

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 ✔️. – NG

Mastodon screenshot.

Credit: Screenshot: Mastodon

Mastodon screenshot.

Credit: Screenshot: Mastodon

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