(credit: Twitter / Sam Machkovech)
A Twitter rules update rolled out on Wednesday to address the site’s “verification” system, and it attached a new set of standards to any user whose account receives a “blue check mark.”
Twitter’s “verification” system is used to confirm accounts of celebrities and other accounts of “public interest.” However, the feature has long straddled a blurry line between identity confirmation and “elite” user status, especially since verified accounts receive heightened visibility and perks such as content filters. That issue returned to the headlines last week when Twitter gave a blue check mark to white nationalist Jason Kessler. Kessler is best known as an organizer of the Unite The Right white-supremacist rally, but before then, he had racked up a significant record of online hate propagation, particularly with anti-Semitic rhetoric about “cultural Marxism.” (Ars is choosing not to link to Kessler’s videos on the subject.)
After receiving public backlash, Twitter froze its verification system to review the process. On Wednesday, a new rules page rolled out to explain how accounts can lose their verified status.
In short: if users don’t prescribe to certain Twitter guidelines, even on public sites other than Twitter, they can kiss their blue check marks goodbye.
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