Twitter to Suspend Verified-Profile Program After White Nationalist Backlash

Janie Parker
November 12, 2017

That rally ended with a far-right protester running over and killing a counter- protester. "I must be the only working-class white advocate with that distinction". Kessler, in fact, tweeted that Heyer was "fat disgusting Communist".

The social media company was criticised after Jason Kessler, who organised the Unite the Right rally which sparked violence in the United States town of Charlottesville in August, tweeted on Wednesday to confirm he had been verified by the platform.

The decision sparked fury from many who said that, by verifying Kessler, the platform was legitimizing his views and giving him a platform.

White nationalist Richard Spencer is also verified.

'Verification was meant to authenticate identity voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance, ' the company said in a tweet. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on what exactly pausing "general verification" means.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Thursday that the company "realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered".

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On Tuesday 7 November, Twitter unleashed a barrage of complaints after it verified the account of Jason Kessler, indicating his prominence in the public sphere.

Twitter verifies handles of influential celebrities, politicians, journalists, institutions and people known to have a huge following.

It started off as a way for people to differentiate between real accounts and hoax accounts; it was simply identity verification. In other words, if you're not newsworthy by Twitter's standards, you may be denied verification.

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

But Twitter's verification system has also become a status symbol over the years, in part because the group of verified users on Twitter is a very small portion of the overall user base. In its literature, Twitter clearly states: "A verified badge does not imply an endorsement by Twitter".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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