Jason Kessler, leader of Charlottesville white supremacist rally, is verified on Twitter

Posted November 12, 2017

The company was blasted for verifying Kessler, a known white supremacist who used the platform to spread his ethos and organise rallies such as the Charlottesville Unite The Right event in August, which resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer. When verified Twitter users engage with other users on the platform, their engagement is more likely to send a notification, and verified users have the option to only get notifications from other verified users.

The news follows backlash after Twitter assigned the blue and white check mark to white supremacist Jason Kessler. "We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it", said a post by Twitter Support.

Twitter verifies all kinds of accounts it considers "of public interest", including celebrities, athletes and journalists (hi!).

"We should've communicated faster on this (yesterday): our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered", Dorsey wrote.

Twitter's decision to verify people who coordinate racist campaigns, like Kessler, is a political one.

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But the truth is that giving someone a blue checkmark is by definition an indicator of importance.

When requesting verification, account holders have to provide basic identity information-email address, phone number, photograph etc. According to Twitter, "a verified badge does not imply an endorsement", but tweets from verified users tend to appear near the top of searches, allowing information they contain to be disseminated faster.

Strictly speaking, Twitter verification is not an endorsement of views. Still, they said they're going to work on it.

What all this information gets at is, as Twitter sees it, the point of verification: To prove that an account is authentic. Twitter seems to be sitting up and taking notice.