The social media company was criticised after Jason Kessler, who organised the Unite the Right rally which sparked violence in the United States town of Charlottesville in August, tweeted on Wednesday to confirm he had been verified by the platform.
For many users of Twitter, the elusive blue tick that comes with verification symbolizes a sort of social media holy grail. Kessler, whose header picture on Twitter is a Confederate flag, had temporarily deleted his account in August after tweeting that Heyer "was a fat, disgusting Communist" whose death "was payback time". Richard Spencer, who argued in an interview with a British journalist this week that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was good for Africans, is verified. Who do you value more, users like me or him?
In what appeared to be a response to that overflowing of anger, Twitter said it "paused all general verifications".
- Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) November 9, 2017 How do you verify Jason Kessler, thus giving him a place of distinction, and, at the same time, tell people of color that they are safe on Twitter? As a result, verification was naturally a much more exclusive club, typically requiring a much larger presence than might be necessary to qualify now, perhaps contributing to the perception that verified accounts must have been deemed "important" by Twitter.
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Twitter's decision to verify people who coordinate racist campaigns, like Kessler, is a political one. It has also increased the characters for the Twitter display name.
Twitter users began protesting Kessler's verification shortly after it became public.
Verification is designed as a means simply to confirm the identity of the account owner. Still, they said they're going to work on it. If you're an individual requesting verification-rather than a company-you'll need to provide a copy of your passport or driver's license for Twitter to check your identity.