A check by MMI revealed that Biya was one of the few African presidents, whose accounts are not verified.
The official Twitter account of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, cannot be differentiated from any other fake account on the microblogging service, as it has lost its verified status.
This comes within six months of Elon Musk completing his acquisition of Twitter. Since then, the billionaire has completely redesigned the platform’s verification process.
The coveted blue tick symbol, which was previously given out to validate a limited number of accounts from celebrities, government institutions, and media organisations was stripped off hundreds of thousands of accounts, including that of President Biya.
Twitter, however, replaced the blue tick with a grey one for the accounts of governments and multilateral organisations. This means that presidents of countries naturally had their blue ticks turned to grey. This did not happen for the Cameroonian president.
MMI has so far been unable to ascertain what the reason could be for Biya’s official account failing to make the verification cut.
There are two possible explanations. The first could be that Twitter does not trust the account, which is unlikely, given that they had previously verified the account.
The second most likely possibility is that Biya’s team is ineffective and has not done what is required to get the account to be given the grey tick it deserves.
A check by MMI revealed that Biya was one of the few African presidents, in addition to Mahamat Déby, President of the Transitional Military Council of Chad, whose accounts were not verified.
Accounts of other African leaders such as Paul Kagame, Muhammadu Buhari, Ali Bongo, Cyril Ramaphosa, Macky Sall, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Patrice Talon and a host of others had the respectable grey tick, confirming they belonged to these presidents.
This not only inspires confidence in those visiting the accounts, but it also lends credibility to any message posted there.
Many Cameroonians have expressed concerns about the lack of verification of their President’s account, with some calling on him to do so.
“Please try to Certify your account on Twitter,” user Fonakwo Edward Tawa told the Cameroon president.
A similar message was repeated in French by a user known simply as Abner.
In addition to the grey account accorded to governments and multilateral organisations, official organisations on Twitter can also get a yellow verification tick.
Furthermore, individuals and organisations are now able to get their accounts verified through a system available for purchase through the company’s subscription service, Twitter Blue. This system allows users to verify their accounts with a blue tick, using their phone numbers.
The question everyone would be asking is whether President Biya is unaware of the importance of having a verified Twitter account or he and his team simply do not care.