Twitter Suspends Verification Process, Won’t Shut Down Nazi’s Account

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Jason Kessler has used his Twitter account to insult slain Charlottesville protester Heather Heyer, referring to her as “a fat, disgusting Communist.”

Jason Kessler Tweet

UPDATE: Just weeks after CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter would eliminate “hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that [glorify] violence,” the online platform verified the account of white supremacist Jason Kessler, the man behind the Charlottesville rally who later used Twitter to celebrate the death of counter-protester Heather Hayer.

Immediately after the fact, countless Twitter users and others harshly criticized the company. The backlash was so overwhelming that Twitter has suspended its verification process, claiming it is “broken” and needs restructuring.

Despite the move, Kessler’s account, the one that prompted the outrage in the first place, remains verified.

Instead of following its own guidelines and shutting down his account due to the user’s affiliation with hateful groups, Twitter is simply glossing over the issue and targeting only the verification process.

And what’s worse, the company continues to block users for “inoffensive or sarcastic” tweets, as Uproxx argues, while giving individuals like Kessler a platform to spread hate.

How long will it take for Twitter to clean up its act?


Mere days after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced an aggressive stance against “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups and tweets that glorifies violence,” the social media site went on to verify the account of white supremacist who organized the deadly Charlottesville rally.

Jason Kessler, the man credited with the violent “Unite the Right” march that resulted in three deaths, including anti-racism activist Heather Heyer, who died after an alleged white nationalist plowed his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters.

At the time, Kessler made headlines for tweeting (then deleting) how Heyer’s death was “payback time” and insulted her by referring to her “a fat, disgusting Communist.” Even alt-right leader Richard Spencer tried to distance himself from Kessler following the comments.

“I will no longer associate w/ Jason Kessler; no one should,” Spencer wrote on social media. “Heyer’s death was deeply saddening. ‘Payback’ is a morally reprehensible idea.”

While Spencer himself is no stranger to making “morally reprehensible” remarks, Kessler’s words were indeed disgusting.

Kessler also made headlines after a group of activists swarmed him while he attempted to hold a news conference, and he ended up being punched in the face.

Now, he has a proud check mark stamped right next to his profile picture, which is below his banner image displaying a Confederate flag.

How in the world could one denounce hate symbols and hate groups while simultaneously verifying — thus giving credibility to — a notorious neo-Nazi?

As The Daily Beast reported, Kessler received the badge on Tuesday. With all the talk about making the platform a safe space and cracking down on hate, Twitter’s latest move does not make much sense.

“Looks like I FINALLY got verified by Twitter,” Kessler tweeted. “I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction.”

Along with being a hate-mongering racist xenophobe, Kessler is also a writer for right-wing websites Daily Caller, GotNews and VDARE, according to his Twitter bio.

According to Twitter’s verification info page, “an account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest.”

A number of online users have slammed the social media giant for verifying Kessler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Kacper Pempel

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