Twitter halts verification after backlash over Charlottesville organizer

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Twitter has suspended its verification program following outrage over handing a blue checkmark to the organizer of the deadly Charlottesville rally in August.

"Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or importance", the company said on Twitter.

Twittter originally verified accounts of "public interests", such as journalists, public figures and celebrities. And for Twitter, the Kessler situation is yet another setback in its attempt to win back user trust after a decade of inaction.

Twitter announced Thursday that it will cease issuing the coveted blue check marks that indicate a user has been "verified". Seems like the kind of person Twitter would not want to amplify, but alas no.

He took to Twitter on November 7 to celebrate earning that blue checkmark.

Less than a week after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Kessler posted a comment on Twitter about the woman who was killed when a Nazi sympathizer allegedly drove his vehicle into a crowd of protesters. In the past, Twitter has pulled verified status from users as a form of "punishment" - perhaps most notably in the case of noted troll Milo Yiannoupolus.

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Despite the fact that Twitter very clearly states verified accounts are not endorsed, having a check mark next to a name does connote some form of legitimacy.

Leslie Miley, a former Twitter employee who is African American, also tweeted his disgust over Kessler's verification. How exactly Twitter plans to clear up the confusion it created around verification remains to be seen.

The verification of Kessler's account angered many users because of previous posts and actions. "Looks like it was payback time", before linking to the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Kessler did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Twitter's latest decision.

Dorsey provided additional context on his personal account: "We should've communicated faster on this (yesterday): our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered".

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