Twitter Inc. updated its policies for removing the verification of a user’s identity, saying it can pull the blue check mark at any time without notice for behavior including promoting hate or inciting harassment of others.
While “verification has long been perceived as an endorsement,” Twitter’s support account wrote Wednesday in a tweet, “this perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse.”
Earlier this month, the social network stopped the system of authenticating a user’s identity with a blue check mark after drawing intense criticism for verifying the account of Jason Kessler, who is credited with orchestrating the white-supremacist rally last August in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Twitter said it’s in the process of creating a new authentication program, and isn’t accepting any public submissions for verification in the meantime. The company also is reviewing current verified accounts to make sure users meet the new guidelines for behavior.
Twitter users are already broadcasting their loss of verification status. Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League, tweeted a screen shot of a note he received from Twitter, saying that his verified badge will be permanently removed “after determining that your account does not comply with Twitter’s guidelines.” The company has also removed the blue check mark from conservative commentator Laura Loomer and Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and co-editor of AltRight.com.
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