Verified Twitter accounts have never been officially endorsed or given special promotions but criticism from many Twitter users shows that popular opinion can sometimes outweigh the truth. "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction". "Hope you realize there's no such thing as being neutral when it comes to Nazis".
Twitter today announced a temporary suspension of its badge verification process.
Verification is designed as a means simply to confirm the identity of the account owner.
The company's official support page explained in a tweet that its verification tag, which was originally meant to authenticate celebrities and influencers, is now being interpreted by users as an endorsement from Twitter.
"We recognise that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it".
Ed Ho, general manager of Twitter's consumer products and engineering group also chimed in: "We knew it was busted as people confuse ID verification with endorsement". Adding a badge to a profile does differentiate a user and can be viewed as giving more credibility to an account simply because it has gone through a review process.More news: The DOJ may be pushing AT&T to sell off CNN
The news follows backlash after Twitter assigned the blue and white check mark to white supremacist Jason Kessler. "Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time", before linking to the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kessler was charged with a felony perjury charge just last month for allegedly lying to a judge that he was not the aggressor when a man was assaulted earlier this year. Actress Rose McGowan, who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein's alleged acts of sexual harassment, had her account suspended for 12 hours because she reportedly tweeted a private telephone number, which is against the company's policies.
Kessler did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Twitter's latest decision.
CEO Jack Dorsey weighed in on the issue, saying that the company has known for awhile that the system was broken.
"We should've communicated faster on this", he said, acknowledging that the "system is broken".