undergroundnewsroom.com
undergroundnewsroom.com November 20, 2017


Twitter suspends verification tool after white supremacist gets blue check mark

12 November 2017, 02:04 | Clyde Nash

Twitter, Facing Another Uproar, Pauses Its Verification Process

Twitter says its system is 'broken' after far-right organiser wins blue tick

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

Twitter said its verification process is meant to "authenticate identify and voice" but is today interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance, and it is pausing all general verifications while the company tries to resolve the matter. In 2016, the micro-blogging website created an online application process for Twitter accounts to receive verified status, which allows people to identify key individuals and organisations on Twitter as authentic and are denoted by a blue tick icon.

Kessler has used his account to spread white supremacist propaganda and, following the Charlottesville rally, a tweet was sent from his account branding Heyer a "fat, disgusting Communist" and saying her death was "payback time".

- Feminist Porg Queen (@missykaybm) November 8, 2017 Twitter has verified Jason Kessler, the white supremacist organizer of the Charlottesville rally.

"Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered".

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

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.

When requesting verification, account holders have to provide basic identity information-email address, phone number, photograph etc.

Twitter has more than doubled its character allowance for display names. Twitter has never been transparent about exactly what criteria warrants a verified account, and if the company begins making subjective decisions about verification based on tweet content, it just opens itself up to more controversy.

Twitter users began protesting Kessler's verification shortly after it became public. Still, they said they're going to work on it. In other words, if you're not newsworthy by Twitter's standards, you may be denied verification.



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