Richard Spencer and other far-right figures lose Twitter 'blue tick' verification

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Let's not forget that when Twitter introduced the verification application system in July 2016, their vice president of User Services, Tina Bhatnagar said in a press statement, "We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification".

Twitter framed the de-verifications as a response to criticism that the blue badge does not merely authenticate the account, but provides an implicit endorsement of the user's views.

The verification marks visually signal that the accounts of prominent individuals are authentic and reliable.

Twitter has verified the accounts of celebrities, politicians and other public figures since 2009, with small blue ticks appearing next to the profiles.

Further, the makers stated that a new verification procedure was being laid down in order to curb the hue and cry around the same.

Amongst the first set of "casualties" who lose their status are English Defence League boss Tommy Robinson, Jason Kessler who helped to organise the far-right march in Charlottesville, and National Policy Institute's Richard Spencer, all of whom have kicked off about it, but whom we are not going to give oxygen here. Twitter's updated policy guidelines, which they shared in a tweet November 15, include a list of reasons you can lose your verification status.

Moving forward, users risk losing their verified status if they, among other things, promote hate or violence, or directly attack or threaten others on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

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Far-right activist Laura Loomer, who lost her status, tweeted that the action equates to "a form of censorship".

"Verification has always been perceived as an endorsement". This only got worse after hate groups with "verified" accounts were found guilty of abusive tweets.

"Twitter has changed their verification policy just to be able to censor me", he said.

Twitter said that it reserves the right to remove verification from a user's account at any moment without prior notice, and it also highlighted that removal could be a outcome of user behaviour both on and off the platform itself. While Twitter is promoting this clamp down as part of its war on hate speech, some are complaining that the company is trying to silence right-wing voices.

Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one's display name or bio.

Inciting or engaging in harassment of others.

Kessler had previously used Twitter to call Heather Heyer, who was killed at the rally by a man described as a Nazi sympathizer, a "fat, disgusting Communist", whose death "was payback time", and he was arrested last month after he allegedly shared the home address of an anti-racist activist online.

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