Twitter removes verified blue badge from far-right accounts after changing rules

Twitter

The social networking giant on Thursday announced its decision to "review" all its verified accounts, shooting off a warning tweet: "We will remove verification from accounts whose behaviour does not fall within the new guidelines".

According to Twitter's verification accounts section on its website, the "blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic".

In a series of follow-up tweets, Twitter said the problems around verification were worsened when it allowed the public to submit requests for certain accounts to be verified.

These include a ban on promoting hate or threatening people on the basis of "race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease".

Twitter said, 'Verification has always been perceived as an endorsement.

Twitter said through a statement that it gave visual prominence to verified account on its service, which added to the perception and the issue should have been addressed much earlier but the work was not prioritized like it should have been.

Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League; Laura Loomer, far-right American political activist and white supremacist Richard Spencer have reported the loss of status. Now some of the most well-known white nationalists have lost their Twitter bragging rights.

Twitter has removed the blue verification tick from several high-profile far-right accounts, following accusations it was not doing enough to combat hate speech.

A week after the ruckus over blue checks on Twitter, the company has updated its policy on verifications and revoked the verifications of some white supremacists. At the time, most of the verified accounts were of celebrities, athletes, musicians, journalists and media outlets.

The majority of figures impacted are aligned with the alt-right; others have links to Neo-Nazism. He told his more than 14,000 followers at the time that "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction".

Twitter said they will continue reviewing accounts for any other violations.

Twitter is revising its authentication system after it faced criticism for giving blue badges of verification to individuals such as Jason Keller, the organizer of the intolerance rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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