A recent update to Twitter’s terms of service relating to the actions of users with verified accounts has led to many conservative and right-wing media personalities being de-verified or in some cases, banned. Jon Passantino, the deputy news director of BuzzFeed News, noted the changes to Twitter’s verified terms of service in a recent tweet stating, “Twitter now says verified users can have status revoked based on the content of their tweets, including ‘promoting hate.'”
Twitter now says verified users can have status revoked based on the content of their tweets, including “promoting hate" pic.twitter.com/XbhZp9dhnD
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) November 15, 2017
According to the updated terms of service, users can now be de-verified for, “directly attacking or threatening people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or diseases.” Twitter users may also be de-verified for supporting any groups or organizations that Twitter decides has committed these offenses any of these actions.
Twitter still claims that the purpose of their blue checkmark is to prove the identity of public figures. “The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic,” reads Twitter’s verified accounts support page. “An account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest. Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.”
It now seems that Twitter verification is indeed a status symbol, provided to accounts deemed worthy by Twitter for following the website’s groupthink rather than a mark of authenticity to prevent impersonation.