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Twitter, Facing Another Uproar, Pauses Its Verification Process

10 November 2017, 12:53 | Ross Houston

White nationalist Jason Kressler's Twitter profile currently features Confederate flag as background. Credit Shay Horse Getty Images

White nationalist Jason Kressler's Twitter profile currently features Confederate flag as background.    
    Credit Shay Horse  Getty Images

Dorsey retweeted the message from @TwitterSupport, providing a bit more information about the decision.

Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, has said its "blue tick" verification process is "broken" after it verified the organiser of a far-right rally.

Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. The page said accounts of public interest may be verified, such as accounts by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other areas.

- Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 9, 2017 How do you verify Jason Kessler, thus giving him a place of distinction, and, at the same time, tell people of color that they are safe on Twitter? "And we failed by not doing anything about it".

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"Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance", the company tweeted. Kessler still has a small blue verified checkmark underneath his confederate flag banner. How exactly Twitter plans to clear up the confusion it created around verification remains to be seen.

Which is why people got upset on Wednesday when Twitter verified Kessler, a move that, in the minds of many, legitimized a white supremacist. As a result, verification was naturally a much more exclusive club, typically requiring a much larger presence than might be necessary to qualify now, perhaps contributing to the perception that verified accounts must have been deemed "important" by Twitter.

The controversy over verification is just the latest incident to spark criticism of Twitter. "Looks like it was payback time", before linking to the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Twitter said it would overhaul its method for verifying users after facing a groundswell of outrage for confirming an avowed white supremacist. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has about 553,000 followers, had his verification request denied and called the decision "absurd" on Twitter in March. He even said that Twitter, "should have stopped the current process at the beginning of the year".



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