Who would have thought a blue check mark on Twitter could cause such an uproar.
The San Francisco tech firm said Thursday that it was pausing verifications on the social media site, which some people interpret as “an endorsement or an indicator of importance.”
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.
Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.
Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter. I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction. pic.twitter.com/IMXqtmhgvn
— Jason Kessler (@TheMadDimension) November 7, 2017
The company places a blue check mark next to a Twitter profile if the tech firm determines it’s an authentic account of public interest. Users can submit a request to get verified.
“Our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered,” tweeted Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey.
He said the tech firm “failed by not doing anything about it,” but Twitter is working faster now to fix the issue.
In response to Dorsey’s tweet, some users criticized the tech firm for verifying Kessler in the first place.
The result today is your company has endorsed an actual Nazi organizer, one who organized an event that led to a murder and then gloated about that murder afterwards. You are failing.
— Nelson Minar (@nelson) November 9, 2017
Others still aren’t buying the argument that Twitter’s verification don’t indicate an endorsement from the company.
This is all bull. So many women (myself included) who work in tech, who are public leaders, who have many times the followers of that guy, cannot get verified. Despite repeated requests. Despite being under attack from assholes like that guy. You've been choosing sides for years.
— Jen Simmons (@jensimmons) November 9, 2017
Photo Credit: The Twitter building is photographed Dec. 14, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)