Twitter changed its verification guidelines and removed authenticating check marks from the accounts of Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer and other prominent white nationalists.
The check marks are a visual cue that the company gives to prominent accounts to help readers ensure they are authentic.
Verification helps promote the accounts, lending them a sort of semiofficial imprimatur from the company. But Twitter said that they were never meant to be an endorsement.
Twitter, and Twitter only, is responsible for people thinking that a verification check mark, which is supposed to verify that you are who you are, and not be an endorsement, is an actual endorsement, because, to this day, they won’t give Julian Assange a checkmark. Once that decision was made, it became all about being an endorsement.
Twitter needs to return to verifying if an account is real or not, because that is valuable to its users. Imagine if Twitter decided it didn’t like what Donald Trump was saying in his tweets and they removed his checkmark. Then a fake Donald Trump Twitter account started tweeting that he was going to nuke North Korea tomorrow, and North Korea, not realizing the account was fake (due to the real one no longer having a checkmark either) responded by launching a missile at Japan. This is an extreme example, but one that shows why the checkmark as a verification tool is useful.
Deciding whether they like or dislike what a user is doing, that is probably not an area Twitter should find itself. Either outright ban a user, or let them be and be ridiculed by other users if they are idiots!
Source: Twitter un-verifies Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, Laura Loomer – The Washington Post