Science

Twitter to Suspend Verified-Profile Program After White Nationalist Backlash

Twitter to Suspend Verified-Profile Program After White Nationalist Backlash

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". But it also clarified that verification is not meant to be an endorsement.

In a tweet early Thursday, founder Jack Dorsey attempted to apologize on behalf of Twitter and promised that the company would take immediate action to remedy the situation. And among users, the blue checkmark has become a sort of status symbol that implies legitimacy-many are more likely to trust a verified account simply due to its verified status. "We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it".

Twitter has long verified accounts belonging to celebrities, journalists, government officials, companies and other noteworthy people. Adding a badge to a profile does differentiate a user and can be viewed as giving more credibility to an account simply because it has gone through a review process.

The decision follows outcry over Twitter's decision to verify Jason Kessler, an organizer of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent in August. Kessler, in fact, tweeted that Heyer was "fat disgusting Communist".

"Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered", he tweeted, saying he should have addressed the issue sooner.

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A tweet from the company's support account suggested that the verification scandal was a misunderstanding. "Looks like it was payback time".

"We should've communicated faster on this", he said, acknowledging that the "system is broken".

That's because Kessler is now "verified", meaning that his name may be one of the first to appear when searching through Twitter, likely amplifying his voice on the social media site, as noted by the Washington Examiner.

Twitter has removed verified checkmarks from users or suspended users in the past for violations of its standards. The company did not offer a timeline on when these changes may go into effect.


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