PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Twitter’s blue check mark, once a badge of honor for celebrities, journalists, and public figures, as well as one of its most coveted features, is going away for some users.
Twitter suspended its verification process “due to confusion” over its policies last week following public outcry for the verification of white nationalist Jason Kessler.
Now, the social network has begun stripping the verification badge from the accounts of some users.
In a series of tweets, Twitter says the “verification has long been perceived as an endorsement. We gave verified accounts visual prominence on the service which deepened this perception. We should have addressed this earlier but did not prioritize the work as we should have.”
“This perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse.
“We’re working on a new authentication and verification program. In the meantime, we are not accepting any public submissions for verification and have introduced new guidelines for the program.”
So far, Twitter has removed verification badges from white nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, commentator Laura Loomer, and a blogger known as A Purposeful Wife.
The social network also banned alt right troll Tim Gionet, better known by the handle @bakedalaska.
According to Twitter’s new guidelines, a verified user can lose its status on the grounds of promoting hate, violent behavior, or harassment.