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

There's a new list of reasons you can lose the blue check.

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AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Sure, being verified on social media isn't always as good as people think, but after a recent blowup, Twitter says it's addressing the "perception" of endorsement a blue checkmark confers. While the network has notably verified the accounts of self-proclaimed white supremacists and Nazis, it appears to be reversing that policy. One item on the new list of reasons an account can lose verification cites promoting hate against certain races/nationality or supporting groups that do.

Loss of verified status

Twitter reserves the right to remove verification at any time without notice.

Reasons for removal may reflect behaviors on and off Twitter that include:

  • Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one's display name or bio.
  • Promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Supporting organizations or individuals that promote the above.
  • Inciting or engaging in harassment of others.
  • Violence and dangerous behavior
  • Directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism
  • Violent, gruesome, shocking, or disturbing imagery
  • Self-harm, suicide
  • Engaging in activity on Twitter that violates the Twitter Rules.

In a series of tweets explaining the policy change, Twitter said "We are conducting an initial review of verified accounts and will remove verification from accounts whose behavior does not fall within these new guidelines." Today, an individual known as "Baked Alaska," who previously was verified, has been banned from the service, while Laura Loomer -- recently banned from both Uber and Lyft for anti-Muslim statements against drivers -- self-reported that she had lost her status on Twitter. Jason Kessler, the Charlottesville organizer whose verification sparked the backlash, is no longer verified, and neither is notable punchee Richard Spencer. Others who are now blue check-less include "@apurposefulwife" and Tommy Robinson.

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