Twitter to remove blue tick for specified accounts

17 November, 2017, 01:42 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Twitter explains how users can lose their verified status

The decision came after people criticized the social platform for authenticating the account belonging to the organizer of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one dead in August.

TWITTER HAS begun the process of overhauling its authentication and verification processes for its famous blue rick.

The company acknowledged in a series of tweets that verification, which was originally meant to authenticate the identities of prominent figures like celebrities and politicians, "has always been perceived as an endorsement". "'We gave verified accounts visual prominence on the service which deepened this perception. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon". According to the company, people think that the accounts with verified status are endorsed by Twitter, but that is wrong.

Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler and others have lost the blue check marks next to their names on Twitter. Twitter's updated policy guidelines, which they shared in a tweet November 15, include a list of reasons you can lose your verification status. They include: "Promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease".

Also losing verification were white nationalist Richard Spencer and far-right figures Laura Loomer and James Allsup.

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In a brief statement, Twitter said, "Verification has always been perceived as an endorsement".

Twitter is removing the much-coveted verified status of users who post racist and hateful material, the company said Wednesday.

"Twitter has changed their verification policy just to be able to censor me", Kessler wrote on Twitter.

It's still unclear exactly what Twitter verification entails, though. Spencer, Loomer and their ilk weren't suspended or blocked, so they can still freely tweet their views. Such actions would not only spring nasty debates around free speech but could also cause ugly Twitter wars. Trust me, I've never personally felt "endorsed" by Twitter, but they had no issue with verifying me.

Milo Yiannapoulos, a former editor at the right-wing site Breitbart, has his blue tick removed and was eventually suspended a year ago over targeted harassment.

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