Twitter tries to fix verification of people 'we in no way endorse'

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The social networking giant on Thursday announced its decision to "review" all its verified accounts, shooting off a warning tweet: "We will remove verification from accounts whose behaviour does not fall within the new guidelines".

Twitter admits its granting of blue check marks - supposedly a sign that an account is of public interest - has been problematic: "Verification has always been perceived as an endorsement".

Twitter said its badge on accounts was being misinterpreted as an indicator of importance or endorsement, and said the idea behind the badge would change.

"Twitter has changed their verification policy just to be able to censor me", claimed Kessler, who describes himself a journalist, while complaining about the deletion of another controversial profile known as "Baked Alaska", a USA white nationalist called Tim Gionet.

Twitter said reasons for losing the blue tick include promoting hate and violence, or directly attacking people on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or other categories.

Anyone "promoting hate and/or violence, supporting hate groups, "inciting or engaging in harassment of others" will lose their verification".

Last week, Twitter said guidelines were being updated due to confusion that verifications were endorsements.

And the company added that it should have addressed the issue earlier.

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White nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, controversial conservative commentator Laura Loomer, and a blogger known as @APurposefulWife all tweeted on Wednesday they had lost their verified status. Twitter is removing badges from white supremacists and members of the alt-right.

The move is part of a raft of changes recently adopted by Twitter.

That "blue tick" Twitter verification sign might just disappear from verified handles for bad behaviour.

Twitter came up with the verification process in 2009, and soon it was seen as the status symbol to have that blue tick mark on the account.

In response to his de-verification, Mr Robinson wrote: "They remove my blue tick meanwhile Islamic terrorist organisations still have theirs".

Whilst many of those supporters agreed with him others were less sympathetic.

Mr Spencer wrote: "Verified no more!" The verification process and regulations around it have been scrutinised since the feature's inception in 2009, and Twitter has stopped public submissions for the verification programme as it irons out the new rules.