Twitter facing criticism for verifying white supremacist organiser

Herbert Rhodes
November 12, 2017

Twitter says on its site that the blue verification check mark is used to detail "that an account of public interest is authentic". "Working now to fix faster", tweeted CEO Jack Dorsey.

"Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter". "We have created this confusion".

The organizer of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that left one woman dead, was verified on Twitter Tuesday, the Daily Beast reported.

Twitter users looking to get verified typically have to submit an online form that requests an email address, phone number and website link to a biography that specifies "an area of expertise and/or a company mission". "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction", he tweeted this week.

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The decision sparked fury from many who said that, by verifying Kessler, the platform was legitimizing his views and giving him a platform. White-nationalist figure Milo Yiannopoulos was "un-verified" a year ago amid a free-speech controversy without much explanation, and has since been banned from the platform.

Originally, verification was applied entirely manually by the Twitter team, with verified status simply appearing without warning for those accounts that might qualify.

Photo Jason Kessler, a prominent white nationalist, at the march in Charlottesville, Va., in October. Nazis are ok for another couple weeks.

But many - including Yuh-Line Niou, a New York State Assembly member - are wondering why they still aren't verified while white nationalists like Kessler and Richard Spencer are. Hate groups will roam free on this platform. Although perhaps most commonly thought of in the context of celebrities and public figures, verification also has benefits for a variety of users, from businesses to anyone whose work takes place predominantly in a public domain, such as journalists and other content creators. SOUND OFF in the comments (below)!

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