Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Twitter Begins Removing Verification From Certain Users

Twitter Begins Removing Verification From Certain Users

Twitter removed the blue "verification" check marks from a handful of prominent white nationalists and far-right conservatives and issued new guidelines after the uproar that followed its decision to verify the organizer of the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally that took place in August.

Some of the country's most prominent white nationalists accused Twitter of censorship on Wednesday after the social media site retracted the verified status of their accounts.

Twitter recently said that its verification program had been misunderstood, pointing out that a blue tick was not meant to be seen as a symbol of support or endorsement.

Also losing blue-mark status was Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., that led to the death of one counter-protester after, police said, a rally attendee drove a vehicle into a crowd.

The new guidelines are clear that the verified status will be withdrawn if the Twitter user's behaviour on and off the platform promoted hate and/or violence against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease.

"We opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse", the site wrote in a series of tweets. While the network has notably verified the accounts of self-proclaimed white supremacists and Nazis, it appears to be reversing that policy.

The company emailed those users who were having their blue ticks removed. "Who do you value more, users like me or him?"

Twitter has announced to remove verification badges from users who violate its rules, adding that the micro-blogging platform is reworking on its entire verification system.

In response to his de-verification, Mr Robinson wrote: "They remove my blue tick meanwhile Islamic terrorist organisations still have theirs".

The "purge" has (so far) missed out other far-right figures such as Paul Golding of Britain First.

The move is quite a u-turn on previous year, when it opened up the verification to many more people by letting anyone apply. "We're working on a new authentication and verification program". Journalist Soledad O'Brien responded to Spencer's complaints about being unverified, tweeting he should "just stop being a white supremacist and a disgusting human being".

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