Twitter suspends 'broken' verification scheme after complaints of verifying right-wing individuals' accounts
Nov 10 2017
Unfortunately, Twitter's long and fuzzy history with verifications makes this a bit hard to swallow.
The move came amid an explosion of criticism over the social network's decision to verify Jason Kessler, a white supremacist who organized the Unite The Right rally last August in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer.
Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. "Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter", he wrote Tuesday.
Although verified users are not meant to be given promotion or extra attention from Twitter, public opinion clearly does not see it that way. "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.
The company's official support page explained in a tweet that its verification tag, which was originally meant to authenticate celebrities and influencers, is now being interpreted by users as an endorsement from Twitter.
Some users claimed Dorsey was a "Nazi" supporter for allowing Kessler's account to be verified. Verifications have been "paused" until the company can resolve the "confusion". The company further added that no further "general" accounts would be verified, while it worked on a fix. "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction".
But why is Kessler now verified - and how does Twitter decide who receives that sought-after blue checkmark of validation?
Photo Jason Kessler, a prominent white nationalist, at the march in Charlottesville, Va., in October. Twitter has also verified prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer. "Who do you value more, users like me or him?"
Kessler did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Twitter's latest decision.
As a result, Twitter have now suspended general verifications while they work out if and how the system needs adjusting. White-nationalist figure Milo Yiannopoulos was "un-verified" previous year amid a free-speech controversy without much explanation, and has since been banned from the platform.