Twitter is halting the expansion of its verification program, saying it needs to work on the application and review process that allows people to join the blue-branded club. This, after admitting that several fake accounts, which were apparently part of a botnet, were incorrectly verified.

If you’ve recently applied for verification, there’s a chance you might get it: Twitter Verified has said it will continue to review existing applications, it will just prevent new people from applying for a while.

Twitter has not indicated that it will make any changes to the criteria it uses to deem accounts as verifiable or not. This is not the first time its verification program has been paused: In 2017, after receiving negative feedback for verifying one of the organizers behind the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville. It rolled out a revamped version again in 2021, and a week later put it on hiatus due to a flood of requests.

The problems with this program highlight the difficulties that can be involved in awarding a badge that is sometimes seen by users as an endorsement. Twitter says the purpose of the badge is to show that an account is “authentic, notable and active,” but even those criteria can end up generating controversy when applications from people who might be notable are rejected.

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