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?”
2 / Verification has long been perceived as an endorsement. We gave verified accounts visual prominence on the service which deepened this perception. We should have addressed this earlier but did not prioritize the work as we should have.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 15, 2017
Laura Loomer called out Twitter, accusing the company of supporting “censorship from the Left.”
Verified no more! Is it not okay to be proudly White? ♂️— Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) November 15, 2017
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.
I have to say, it’s pretty shameful to see total silence from some of the most outspoken conservatives on twitter, (many of whom I’m friends with) display total silence on the issue of de-verification and censorship from the Left.Like I said, total lack of loyalty on the right.— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) November 16, 2017