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TFIC: Unpacking the Consequences of X’s Verification and Visibility Changes for Public Agencies

State and local government PIOs and social media teams are navigating the drastic changes at what was once Twitter, grappling with unexpected features and shifts in user verification, as they weigh the pros and cons of remaining on the evolving platform.

Podcast cover art for TFIC
The podcast cover image for The Future in Context (TFIC) episode exploring the impacts of changes at X for government social media, particulary emergency communication, and what comes next.
TFIC
Listen to this episode on the player below or subscribe for free on YouTube or the podcast app of your choice — Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audacy and Audible.



Significant changes at X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, are forcing public agencies to adapt, revert to communications channels they control, or contemplate leaving it all together. The changes have caused public agencies to rethink what they need to do to effectively disseminate emergency and critical information while safeguarding their own credibility as even the validation seal program on the platform gets turned on its head.

SHOW NOTES


Here are the top 10 takeaways from this episode:

1. Overview: The episode discusses significant changes on Twitter (rebranded as “X”) affecting public agencies.

2. Unexpected Alterations: X temporarily removed public post viewing without an account, impacting dissemination of emergency information in a crisis.

3. Community Engagement: Agencies, like the Washington and Arizona departments of transportation, used Twitter for over a decade for effective community connection.

4. Increased Negative Feedback: Rising negativity on X is causing state and local government users to consider leaving the platform.

5. Verification Process Concerns: Modifications to the verification process, including the paid feature, X Premium, has caused confusion and concerns about credibility among government agencies.

6. Preferred Verification: Government entities prefer the gray checkmark, denoting verified status, to enhance credibility.

7. Anticipated Future Changes: Additional changes on X include the potential removal of the block feature and altered news article display.

8. Potential Future Monetization: Discussions indicate that X may not remain free, leading to uncertainty among current users.

9. No Immediate Alternatives: With nontransferable follower bases, agencies find it challenging to transition to alternative platforms, despite X’s changes.

10. Conclusion: Public agencies are cautiously navigating X’s continuous changes, weighing their platform options while considering credibility, public service and platform utility concerns.

Related Links to stories referenced in the episode:

Our editors used ChatGPT 4.0 to summarize the episode in bullet form to help create the show notes.
Paul W. Taylor is the Senior Editor of e.Republic Editorial and of its flagship titles - Government Technology and Governing.
Ashley Silver is a staff writer for <i>Government Technology. </i>She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Montevallo and a graduate degree in public relations from Kent State University. Silver is also a published author with a wide range of experience in editing, communications and public relations.
Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.