Twitter pauses verifications after Charlottesville rally organizer gets blue check

Katrina Barker
November 10, 2017

Anyone can apply to receive a blue check mark, but Twitter is judge, jury and executioner when it comes to who receives, or loses, the blue check.

For example, Twitter says in their tweet that verification "is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance", implying that it didn't intend for the badge to be seen that way.

Everyone is mad at Twitter again, this time over the company's decision to verify Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville this past August. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.

But the verified account of a white supremacist caused an outburst from Twitter users against Kessler. Verified users are, for better or worse, considered to be official social media influencers. "And we failed by not doing anything about it".

In response to Dorsey's tweet, some users criticized the tech firm for verifying Kessler in the first place. But it also clarified that verification is not meant to be an endorsement. Twitter does seem to have mixed views on the matter itself considering that some controversial public figures have been denied verification and others have had verification revoked as a punishment.

"We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it".

Meanwhile, it does not appear Kessler's verification was an oversight as the account still now shows a blue check mark.

As a result, Twitter have now suspended general verifications while they work out if and how the system needs adjusting.

But many - including Yuh-Line Niou, a New York State Assembly member - are wondering why they still aren't verified while white nationalists like Kessler and Richard Spencer are.

The verification of Kessler's account angered many users because of previous posts and actions.

Ed Ho, the head of Twitter's Consumer Product and Engineering Group, tweeted that the social network should have stopped the process at the start of the year.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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