Twitter halts `broken' verification after tool helped trolls


The move comes days after Jason Kessler - a white nationalist who organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia -bragged about getting a blue check mark on his profile. In general, Twitter verifies accounts belonging to a person of "public interest" such as celebrities, journalists and politicians but says that verification is not meant to be an endorsement of that individual.

Twittter originally verified accounts of "public interests", such as journalists, public figures and celebrities.

Twitter has removed verified checkmarks from users or suspended users in the past for violations of its standards.

Twitter declined to comment on what, exactly, "general verifications" means - and whether it opens the door for specific accounts to be verified - or why it took so long to act on changing the verification system. However, some far-right and white-supremacist accounts too have been verified causing huge concern among the top executives of the popular social media site.

Milo Yiannopoulos, former contributor for the right-wing site Breitbart, was also verified and then "un-verified" by Twitter, according to Vanity Fair, before he was permanently banned from the site.

The social media company was criticised after Jason Kessler, who organised the Unite the Right rally which sparked violence in the USA town of Charlottesville in August, tweeted on Wednesday to confirm he had been verified by the platform. "We have created this confusion".

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.

Originally, verification was applied entirely manually by the Twitter team, with verified status simply appearing without warning for those accounts that might qualify. Twitter's user guidelines allow for anonymous accounts, and anonymous users have been a big part of Twitter's identity and culture since the company's founding. Kessler, in fact, tweeted that Heyer was "fat disgusting Communist". "Who do you value more, users like me or him?"

Top Twitter officials weighed in on the Kessler decision Thursday from their personal accounts.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said the scheme would now be "reconsidered".