Twitter to Suspend Verified-Profile Program After White Nationalist Backlash

Posted November 12, 2017

Typically, the blue check means that an account "of public interest is authentic" - but the company has withheld it from other high-profile accounts in the past, like with Julian Assange.

In celebration of his newly verified status, Kessler tweeted "Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter". That's because Mr. Kessler is a well-known white supremacist who has used Twitter to spread his message and organize rallies like Unite the Right's march in Charlottesville, Va., where torch wielding protesters marched through the streets chanting racist rallying cries. That was what Twitter was trying to figure out on Thursday.

While the literal meaning of a check mark was about verifying identity, having a check mark has also evolved into a pseudo endorsement from the company - a confirmation that Twitter valued someone as important. "We have created this confusion". According to Twitter, "a verified badge does not imply an endorsement", but tweets from verified users tend to appear near the top of searches, allowing information they contain to be disseminated faster.

In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange in London, England, on November 7, 2013.

Twitter's decision to verify people who coordinate racist campaigns, like Kessler, is a political one.

"Go ahead, add that middle name or even a few more emojis", said Twitter, which has been attracting a great deal of criticism of late.

'And we failed by not doing anything about it.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey responded to the tidal wave of complaints a few days later, saying the verification policy was correctly followed in this circumstance but that it's a system that's long required an upgrade. It essentially said that the problem is users misinterpreting what verification means. "Working now to fix faster".