Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has said the social media’s "blue tick" verification process is "broken" after it verified the organiser of a far-right rally.
The tech firm has been criticised after Jason Kessler - organiser of the Unite the Right rally which sparked violent scenes in the US town of Charlottesville in August - tweeted yesterday to confirm he had been verified by the platform.
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
Twitter’s official support account has now said its verification system has been "paused" following the backlash over the incident.
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2017
Adding to the post, Mr Dorsey said: "We should’ve communicated faster on this (yesterday): our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realised some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered.
"And we failed by not doing anything about it. Working now to fix faster."
Twitter’s verification process enables account holders to submit a request via an online form to have their account marked as of public interest and "authentic".
The company’s help centre says it approves accounts managed by users in "music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas", but any Twitter user can apply for verification.
If you think your account should be verified – let us know! Check out our article to learn what it takes to apply. https://t.co/J8MUNCC5bg— Twitter Verified (@verified) October 6, 2016
The site’s guidelines say in order to be verified, an account must include an email address and phone number, as well as a website link and an account biography that "specifies an area of expertise and/or a company mission".
Mr Kessler’s Twitter bio says he is a freelance journalist, and also lists his position as "organiser of Unite the Right".
In response to one tweet directed at Mr Dorsey which claimed Twitter had "verified a white supremacist", Mr Kessler responded:
I never claimed to be "superior" to anyone else because of my race. However, my people are beautiful, unique & deserve to have a voice like anyone else. https://t.co/ViavEfeTHN— Jason Kessler (@TheMadDimension) November 8, 2017