Jason Kessler, the organizer of the far-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; Far-right activist Laura Loomer; English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and American white supremacist Richard Spencer lost their official Twitter verification on Wednesday.
Social media platform Twitter provides special badges for celebrities, politicians and other notable handles to help protect against counterfeit accounts. These blue circles with white check marks appear on accounts to assure users that the account at hand is authentic. However, under new guidelines announced by Twitter, the company is ending the verification mark because some perceive it as endorsing hate speech.
Richard Spencer responded to his lack of verification with a question on Twitter. “Is it not okay to be proudly White?”
Laura Loomer called out Twitter, accusing the company of supporting “censorship from the Left.”
The new guidelines are a result of criticism leveled at Twitter when Jason Kessler received verification after amassing over 15,000 followers. Twitter was falsely accused of endorsing him and his views.
Twitter verification has long been a source of criticism and confusion. Twitter created the verification process to protect against fraudulent accounts posing as notable users, not to endorse the contents of the account.