Controversial Twitter Accounts Lose Verification as Platform Begins Major Overhaul


In the wake of recent controversy surrounding the platform’s verification of an account associated with a prevalent white supremacist rally organiser, Twitter has announced a major overhaul to its verification system that with leave a number of once-verified accounts without the treasured blue tick.

The announcement was made in a string of tweets posted to the @TwitterSupport account on November 15th. Twitter had previously admitted that while they had initially created the verification system to “authenticate identity and voice”, it has become widely interpreted as an endorsement of the views expressed or the figure behind the account. The more recent string gave an indication of their intended remedial actions, stating that the verification system will change and as a result some users whose behaviour “does not fall within these guidelines” may be unverified.

Within their announcement Twitter acknowledge a few failures on their part; for example verified accounts have long been given visual prominence on the side, which added to the perception of endorsement. They also failed to act soon enough to remedy the situation and only succeeded in making matters worse by opening up the verification process to public submissions. As a result they have stopped accepting any public submissions for verification while they work towards correcting the aforementioned issues.

Their full statement can be viewed in the tweets embedded below:


While Twitter themselves did not outright announce the handles of any accounts that were likely to lose their verification status, Gizmodo reports that the overhaul is already beginning to take effect with accounts belonging to the likes of known white supremacist Richard B Spencer, alt-right activist and journalist Laura Loomer, and former EDL leader Tommy Robinson among those already stripped of the blue tick. That list is only set to grow further as the newly-updated guidelines take hold, but whether this will ultimately have the end result Twitter are hoping for remains to be seen.

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