Twitter is pausing verification of accounts while it rethinks strategy

Twitter Has a White-Nationalist Verification Problem

The process has come under fire before, with notable incidents in which Twitter removed Milo Yiannopoulos' verification before dropping the ban-hammer on him altogether.

Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance.

You can submit a request for verification to Twitter, which says the blue checkmark "lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic."

Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey also weighed in, saying management should have communicated more quickly on its plans to fix the system.

The decision to verify Kessler and the fallout over it is just the latest in a long series of decisions that reveals the profound disconnect between Twitter leadership and its users. That's so famous people, like politicians and high-profile actors, don't have to worry about others impersonating them online. Adding a badge to a profile does differentiate a user and can be viewed as giving more credibility to an account simply because it has gone through a review process.

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

That made yesterday's decision to verify Jason Kessler, the leader of the white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, VA this summer, incredibly odd (or incredibly foolish).

It's worth noting that Twitter opened up its verification process following the Yiannoupolus incident a year ago, letting anyone apply to be verified. Actress Rose McGowan, who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein's alleged acts of sexual harassment, had her account suspended for 12 hours because she reportedly tweeted a private telephone number, which is against the company's policies. "Looks like it was payback time".

Twitter announced on Thursday that the verification process was under review and all verifications would be halted until confusion around what the check mark actually means was cleared up. The company did not offer a timeline on when these changes may go into effect.



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