Twitter stops verifying users after Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' organiser is verified

Jack dorseyKimberly White/Getty ImagesTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
  • Twitter suspended its verification program after granting a verified badge to the organiser of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally. 
  • The company says the suspension is only temporary, and that it is working on a fix.
  • CEO Jack Dorsey weighed in on the issue, saying that the company has known for a while that the system was broken.

Twitter suspended general account verifications Thursday after people expressed outrage over the organiser of the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Daily Beast reported that Jason Kessler, the rally’s organiser, received the Twitter’s verification badge on Tuesday, and as of writing this, Kessler still has it.

Kessler’s verification spawned an uproar among Twitter users, as it was seen as the company’s endorsement of Kessler’s beliefs.

Twitter’s policy states that it verifies accounts that are “determined to be an account of public interest” and that, “a verified badge does not imply an endorsement by Twitter.” They are usually given to celebrities, politicians, and journalists. 

In a statement on Twitter, the company said: “We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon.”

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter retweeted the statement adding: “…we realised some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered.” 

Ed Ho, general manager of Twitter’s consumer products and engineering group also chimed in: “We knew it was busted as people confuse ID verification with endorsement.”

A Twitter spokeswoman said that any further updates would be tweeted from the Twitter Safety account.

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