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Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Amid heated criticism Twitter temporarily suspends account verifications

Amid heated criticism Twitter temporarily suspends account verifications

Twitter posted some bad news on Thursday for anyone who has been looking to get one of the coveted blue check marks next to their name, the verification process is paused until further notice.

You can submit a request for verification to Twitter, which says the blue checkmark "lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic." Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter should have communicated its doubts about the verification system to users faster, and the network had realized it needed to overhaul its verification process "some time ago".

However, it notes that a verified badge "does not imply an endorsement by Twitter".

Dorsey said Twitter's reaction to the situation was late, claiming it "should have been handled". "Looks like it was payback time", he wrote, according to reports. "But someone alleges that an account I don't run listed their PUBLICLY AVAILABLE address & I'm charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor".

His comment came days after Twitter handed a verified badge to Jason Keller, the leader of the nationalist rally in Charlottesville that turned violent after a driver plowed into a crown of counter-protesters, killing a woman.

Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK, and members of the alt-right gather on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

After asking how the system now works, a Twitter spokesperson pointed TheWrap to its page outlining verification details, where it says "a verified badge does not imply an endorsement by Twitter". (I'm not verified, but I recently applied to be.) When accounts are verified, they float to the top of the platform's search results for "top tweets".

Now, Twitter has chose to place verifications on hold, following complaints the ticks have added weight to the comments of some controversial users. The Daily Beast found out that Twitter had awarded the blue tick to Jason Kessler's account - who is a known white supremacist. I don't want to give up Twitter, but I may have to. It still doesn't explain why Kessler's account was verified - and regardless of the reasoning, outrage around this move is spreading quickly.

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