Saturday Night Live and Suburgatory star Ana Gasteyer signed up for Twitter in August. She loves it — "it's a fantastic way to connect with your specific weird following," she told me — but there's a problem: Twitter won't verify her account. No matter what she does. (Update below.)
This afternoon, I called Gasteyer (now both an actress and, thanks to Ben and Jerry's and her famous "Schweddy Balls" sketch, an ice cream maven) to ask about her Twitter imbroglio. She was filling her car up with gas when I reached her. "I wouldn't call it an imbroglio," she said. "It's a personal quest for validation."
Since signing up for the service, she's amassed nearly 17,000 followers, many of whom require some convincing as to the authenticity of her account. "I'm so good at impersonating myself I've reached an entirely new level of acting," she says. "It's like Meryl Streep."
Part of the problem is that Twitter doesn't make the verification process easy for individuals. "You have to be an advertiser or have a website affiliated," she explained. "I kept going to the page about verification and getting cock blocked. After a couple weeks I got an email address." But even that was difficult to figure out. "What was I supposed to say? I could send you a carton of Schweddy Balls?" Here's what she eventually settled on:
Ana Gasteyer here. People to whom I am not related know me as an actress and comedian, as well as one of the parties responsible for bringing Schweddy Balls and others into the lexicon. Occasionally, my followers inquire/question my legitimacy. How would I go about confirming my identity in order to get verified? I don't have a website as I'm not a company in the traditional sense. Hoping you'll have some handy help —
All Gasteyer received in response was silence.
And then Twitter verified a fake account for Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng. "That was the first step of outrage," she told me. So she enlisted her Suburgatory costars and took to the very site denying her her validation.
Before we hung up, I asked Gasteyer if she had any theories about why Twitter was ignoring her in her quest.
"No theories whatsoever," she replied. "I love Twitter. I've had an interesting career, and it's been really fun to interact with all the different kinds of people I've connected with. I'm feeling a little modern — I make friends online."
Update: Thanks to our strong advocacy journalism and Gasteyer's winning campaign, she was officially verified this afternoon. And you said we never changed anything.