People are understandably upset because alt-right journalist Jason Kessler — who was the principal organizer of the Unite The Right white nationalist rally in Charlottesville — was verified on Twitter. Da fuck?
Typically, the blue check means that an account “of public interest is authentic” — but the company has withheld it from other high-profile accounts in the past, like with Julian Assange.
After getting hit with a ton of criticism online, the social media site has now paused its verification program until further notice.
The company tweeted:
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017
CEO Jack Dorsey even chimed in on the controversy to say:
“Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered. And we failed by not doing anything about it. Working now to fix faster.”
While that’s all great, as of this posting, Kessler still has a verified account:
Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter. I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction. pic.twitter.com/IMXqtmhgvn
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Jason Kessler (@TheMadDimension) November 7, 2017
Ch-ch-check out the enraged responses (below):
Hey @jack: very active user, 2.1M followers here: this is disgusting. Verifying white supremacists reinforces the increasing belief that your site is a platform for hate speech. I don’t want to give up Twitter, but I may have to. Who do you value more, users like me or him? https://t.co/5ymcNfFvH0
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 9, 2017
How do you verify Jason Kessler, thus giving him a place of distinction, and, at the same time, tell people of color that they are safe on Twitter? How @jack and @TwitterSupport?
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Tour├â┬⌐ (@Toure) November 9, 2017
TWITTER: We├óΓé¼Γäóve been working intensely…
*increases character limit to 280*
To take a more aggressive stance in our rules…
*verifies domestic terrorist Jason Kessler*
Hate symbols, violent groups, & tweets that glorifies violence…
*begs Russia to invest millions in ads*
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) November 9, 2017
Oh wait my bad @jack my bad. Nazis are ok for another couple weeks. I├óΓé¼Γäóll follow-up w/you about your verification of Jason Kessler, known Nazi & organizer of rallies that end in murder, on the 22nd. pic.twitter.com/qyprrCRWYq
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Feminist Porg Queen (@missykaybm) November 8, 2017
Twitter has verified Jason Kessler, the white supremacist organizer of the Charlottesville rally. The message is clear. Hate groups will roam free on this platform. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/C3tLOoRq50
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Sean Kent (@seankent) November 9, 2017
hey @jack you verified a white supremacist, hey @jack you verified a white supremacist, hey @jack you verified a white supremacist, hey @jack you verified a white supremacist, hey @jack you verified a white supremacist, hey @jack you verified a white supremacist, hey @jack you ve https://t.co/A6sqVKWNJn
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ mamoudou n├óΓé¼Γäódiaye (@MamoudouNDiaye) November 8, 2017
Do U think this blue check is warranted?? SOUND OFF in the comments (below)!