Twitter Pauses Verifications Amid Controversy Over Charlottesville Organizer

Twitter Pauses Verifications Amid Controversy Over Charlottesville Organizer

Now the company is reconsidering how it hands out its little blue and white check mark icons.

Twitter said Thursday that it will "pause" its verified account system in the wake of criticism over an organizer of the Charlottesville rally having received a coveted blue check mark on his profile.

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Yet others began to ask: Just why did Twitter verify Kessler, who tweeted Tuesday night that "large swathes of (Virginia) have no recognizable Americans; look like a third world bazaar" after voters in the state elected Democrat Ralph Northam as governor. And for Twitter, the Kessler situation is yet another setback in its attempt to win back user trust after a decade of inaction.

"And we failed by not doing anything about it", he added.

In response to Dorsey's tweet, some users criticized the tech firm for verifying Kessler in the first place. In general, Twitter verifies accounts belonging to a person of "public interest" such as celebrities, journalists and politicians but says that verification is not meant to be an endorsement of that individual.

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Some users claimed Dorsey was a "Nazi" supporter for allowing Kessler's account to be verified. "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction".

This week, Twitter verified the account of Jason Kessler who, after the death of Heather Heyer, tweeted that Heyer was a "fat, disgusting Communist" whose death "was payback time". "We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it".

Twitter has been taking some hits lately.

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

Twitter declined to comment on what, exactly, "general verifications" means - and whether it opens the door for specific accounts to be verified - or why it took so long to act on changing the verification system. WikiLeaks found Julian Assange had his request for verification denied earlier in 2017, which he called "absurd". He even said that Twitter, "should have stopped the current process at the beginning of the year".

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