Twitter stops verification badge amid Jason Kessler backlash

12 November, 2017, 02:05 | Author: Rosa Wright
  • Twitter Has a White-Nationalist Verification Problem

Counter0protesters (L) confront Jason Kessler (C), an organizer of Unite the Right rally, after Kessler tried to speak outside the Charlottesville City Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 13.

In response, the company's Support account tried to explain that verifications were never meant to serve as an "endorsement or an indicator of importance". Twitter, which tends to quickly verify accounts belonging to journalists and public figures, describes the blue checkmark as a symbol indicating an account's authenticity, meaning that it belongs to the person "of public interest" who claims to use it.

Kessler tweeted that the victim, Heather Heyer, "was a fat, disgusting Communist", adding, "Communists have killed 94 million". Twitter has previously come under fire for verifying other prominent white supremacists, including Richard Spencer.

Twitter on Friday said that it has paused all general verifications while they work on resolving it.

Twitter's decision to verify people who coordinate racist campaigns, like Kessler, is a political one.

'Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realised some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered, ' he wrote in a tweet.

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Milo Yiannopoulos, former contributor for the right-wing site Breitbart, was also verified and then "un-verified" by Twitter, according to Vanity Fair, before he was permanently banned from the site.

Twitter has more than doubled its character allowance for display names.

He also put a question to users about how best the verification process could be altered in the future.

'And we failed by not doing anything about it. If you're an individual requesting verification-rather than a company-you'll need to provide a copy of your passport or driver's license for Twitter to check your identity.

Verification is designed as a means simply to confirm the identity of the account owner.

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