Twitter stops verification badge amid Jason Kessler backlash

Jason Kessler the organizer of the

The decision to verify Kessler and the fallout over it is just the latest in a long series of decisions that reveals the profound disconnect between Twitter leadership and its users.

"Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter", he wrote Tuesday. "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction".

A Twitter spokeswoman said that any further updates would be tweeted from the Twitter Safety account.

"Hi @Twitter", tweeted Simran Jeet Singh, a professor of religion at Trinity University. "Verifying Jason Kessler is a political act - and one that puts you on the wrong side of history".

On Thursday morning, two days after Kessler got his verification, Dorsey responded to the criticism on Twitter, saying that the company's verification program is "broken and needs to be reconsidered".

Verification is designed as a means simply to confirm the identity of the account owner. Verifications have been "paused" until the company can resolve the "confusion". The badge lets users know you are indeed looking at the real Kim Kardashian's account, for example, rather than the 50,000 bootleg versions. "Communists have killed 94 million".

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If being verified is not meant to enhance a user's legitimacy and help expand their audience, it seems odd that verification is not given to all well-known people regardless of how controversial they may be.

Although verified users are not meant to be given promotion or extra attention from Twitter, public opinion clearly does not see it that way.

But Twitter's verification system has also become a status symbol over the years, in part because the group of verified users on Twitter is a very small portion of the overall user base.

A statement by Jack Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and chief executive, said: "We should've communicated faster on this (yesterday)".

In what appeared to be a response to that overflowing of anger, Twitter said it "paused all general verifications".

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