Twitter targets white nationalists and far-right activists in de-verification purge

White nationalist Richard Spencer

In a tweet, the company wrote, "we are conducting an initial review of verified accounts and will remove verification from accounts whose behavior does not fall within these new guidelines".

Twitter's move to clarify the meaning of its verification badge and revoke the status for people who are famous for their racism or sexism or hate speech are great first steps.

Among those who complained on Wednesday about the verification sign being ripped from their Twitter accounts were Jason Kessler, who drew various far right groups, from supremacists to armed militias, to the August rally in Charlottesville, the white nationalist Richard Spencer, far-right activists Laura Loomer and James Allsup.

"We're working on a new authentication and verification program", its "Support" account tweeted.

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Several accounts, including that of founder of United Kingdom far right group the English Defence League Tommy Robinson and USA white nationalist Richard Spencer, have had their blue ticks revoked.

According to a post by British far-right activist Tommy Robinson, Twitter sent out emails to those who had their verified ticks removed telling them it had done so because they were breaking the site's terms of service.

The micro-blogging platform last week temporarily stopped verifying users amid rising complaints that the coveted blue tick lent gravitas to controversial figures.

Robinson simply wrote, "the truth is now hate speech".

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Twitter said it's reworking the entire system and has already changed its official guidelines on what verification means.

Twitter has subsequently updated its policies so that those who do violate its guidelines can now have their verified status removed.

It's worth pointing out that removing the blue check mark from alt-right accounts is pretty much the least aggressive move Twitter could have made.

The individuals behind the targeted accounts have claimed the social network is attempting to silence them for their views.

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In lieu of the recent misconceptions about verification procedures, micro-blogging site Twitter announced that it would soon suspend verification badges for some of its verified users. "We will continue to review and take action as we work towards a new program we are proud of". There are a lot of high traffic users who employ that tool just to cut down on the spam, so you're probably more likely to be "seen" by them if you have one.

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