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Twitter suspends issuance of 'blue ticks' with immediate effect

10 November 2017

The move came amid an explosion of criticism over the social network's decision to verify Jason Kessler, a white supremacist who organized the Unite The Right rally last August in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer. Twitter, which tends to quickly verify accounts belonging to journalists and public figures, describes the blue checkmark as a symbol indicating an account's authenticity, meaning that it belongs to the person "of public interest" who claims to use it.

"We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it".

Meanwhile, it does not appear Kessler's verification was an oversight as the account still now shows a blue check mark.

Any user can apply for verification and Twitter has at times removed a user's verified status.

Twitter users began protesting Kessler's verification shortly after it became public.

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But its methodology for authenticating accounts is unclear, as Vanity Fair noted Thursday; for instance, the company unverified the account of alt-right agitator Milo Yiannopoulos back in early 2016, apparently as part of an effort to rein in the harassment plaguing the site. I don't want to give up Twitter, but I may have to. "We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience". Verifying white supremacists reinforces the increasing belief that your site is a platform for hate speech. "Working now to fix faster".

"Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter", Kessler tweeted to his more than 13,000 followers.

Twitter posted some bad news on Thursday for anyone who has been looking to get one of the coveted blue check marks next to their name, the verification process is paused until further notice. The badge lets users know you are indeed looking at the real Kim Kardashian's account, for example, rather than the 50,000 bootleg versions.

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

Twitter suspends issuance of 'blue ticks' with immediate effect