Twitter updated its policies Wednesday to allow the company to remove "verified" status for accounts that engage in "hate."
The social media platform has long maintained that the verification "blue checkmark" did not serve as an endorsement of accounts and only indicated that the account holder had verified their identity. "A verified badge does not imply an endorsement by Twitter," the company's own support page reads. But after being called on to "unverify" racist accounts, Twitter announced a change.
Under the new rules, an account can lose its checkmark for "promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease."
Twitter will also unverify anyone who supports any organization engaging in those actions, or in "inciting or engaging in harassment of others."
"Verification has long been perceived as an endorsement…" the company tweeted from their offical account. "We should have addressed this earlier but did not prioritize the work as we should have."
"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 tweeted.
Already, many far-right accounts have been stripped of their verified status, including white supremacist Richard Spencer and English Defense Leader founder Tommy Robinson.
— Tommy Robinson (@TRobinsonNewEra) November 15, 2017
Verified no more! Is it not okay to be proudly White? ♂️
— Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) November 15, 2017