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12 November 2017, 02:02 | Hattie Nash
Twitter verification is temporarily
Counter0protesters (L) confront Jason Kessler (C), an organizer of Unite the Right rally, after Kessler tried to speak outside the Charlottesville City Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 13.
In a tweet, the company said, "The verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance".
Twitter claim, however, that the blue tick is too often seen as an endorsement of a verified account by Twitter or as an indication of the account-holder's importance.
Kessler, who posts under the handle @TheMadDimension, deleted his account for a brief period of time in August after he tweeted that "Heather Heyer", the woman who was mowed down by a vehicle at his rally, "was a fat, disgusting Communist". Twitter has previously come under fire for verifying other prominent white supremacists, including Richard Spencer. "We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon", read a tweet from @TwitterSupport account.
Originally, verification was applied entirely manually by the Twitter team, with verified status simply appearing without warning for those accounts that might qualify.
Twitter verifies handles of influential celebrities, politicians, journalists, institutions and people known to have a huge following. The account's tweets must also be set to public.
"Go ahead, add that middle name or even a few more emojis", said Twitter, which has been attracting a great deal of criticism of late.
He also put a question to users about how best the verification process could be altered in the future. "And we failed by not doing anything about it".
Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey responded to the tidal wave of complaints a few days later, saying the verification policy was correctly followed in this circumstance but that it's a system that's long required an upgrade.
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Meant to also allow users more freedom of expression, the change wasn't exactly well-received by most users. Twitterati immediately were seen trying out the expanded limit and had a different take on it.
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