Twitter puts verification on hold after Charlottesville organizer gets blue check

Nov 10, 2017, 00:54
Twitter puts verification on hold after Charlottesville organizer gets blue check

Still, there was strong uproar over Kessler's verification, with many wondering why Twitter chose to give the white nationalist the blue badge - especially after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted last month that the social media site would "take a more aggressive stance" in enforcing rules against "unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence". But it also clarified that verification is not meant to be an endorsement.

There are other "common characteristics" of verified accounts that Twitter lays out, including if an account uses the real name of a person or company, an image on the account reflects a person or company or a person's Twitter bio lists their profession.

It added, "We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it". Regardless, the blue checkmark is firmly in place on Kessler's account, and users pretty quickly told Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey they weren't happy about this move. Twitter's user guidelines allow for anonymous accounts, and anonymous users have been a big part of Twitter's identity and culture since the company's founding.

Ed Ho, general manager of Twitter's consumer products and engineering group also chimed in: "We knew it was busted as people confuse ID verification with endorsement".

Events in Charlottesville resulted in the death of protester Heather Hayer - who Kessler called a "fat, disgusting communist" in the aftermath.

The social media company was criticised after Jason Kessler, who organised the Unite the Right rally which sparked violence in the U.S. town of Charlottesville in August, tweeted on Wednesday to confirm he had been verified by the platform. "Looks like it was payback time", he wrote, according to reports.

A tweet from the company's support account suggested that the verification scandal was a misunderstanding.

Ho said that they have to fix the issue, and are "pausing until we do".

"We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter, so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification", Twitter's Vice President of user services, Tina Bhatnagar, said in a statement at the time. Users can submit a request to get verified. The company did not offer a timeline on when these changes may go into effect.

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