Twitter Revising Verification Policy, Removes Blue Badge From Few Accounts

by Abel Hampton November 17, 2017, 0:27
Twitter Revising Verification Policy, Removes Blue Badge From Few Accounts

In light of the recent misconceptions about verification procedures, micro-blogging site Twitter announced that has begun to remove the "verified" blue tick from certain accounts which belong to prominent white supremacists in the US.

The updated rules of Twitter also states the removal of verification of those accounts who change their display name and bios misleading people, as outlined in the new guidelines.

Anyone "promoting hate and/or violence, supporting hate groups, "inciting or engaging in harassment of others" will lose their verification".

"We're working on a new authentication and verification program", its "Support" account tweeted.

Amongst the accounts stripped of their tick is Jason Kessler, who took part in the organization of a far-right march that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Richard Spence, a white supremacist.

Another day, another effort by Twitter to clear up exactly what its rules are for users after 11 years of operating, four of them as a publicly run company.

"Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas", Twitter explains on its website. He was chastised by an elderly man for talking too loudly and by a British man who informed him that a private company like Twitter is able to alter its policies as it sees fit.

Twitter's purge of verified accounts is a commendable effort to protect its site from violence and hate speech, but this has inherent risks too.

Far-right activist Laura Loomer, who lost her status, tweeted that the action equates to "a form of censorship".

And its impact is now being felt among far-right personalities in the US and UK.

But, as the Guardian points out, "the fact that Twitter can remove the checkmark based on an account's behavior or content will probably reinforce the perception that it does imply an endorsement". Spencer asked, subsequently tweeting that anyone on the right who retained their verified status was "system approved" and "utterly irrelevant".

Twitter said they will continue reviewing accounts for any other violations.

Last week, Twitter attempted to clarify that the check mark was just meant to authenticate identity and voice while adding they were temporarily pausing general verifications.


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