Twitter warned users Wednesday that they can lose "verified" status on its platform, releasing a set of rules for keeping the "blue checkmark" that verifies their identity.
“Twitter reserves the right to remove verification at any time without notice,” reads the new rule. “Previously verified accounts may not be eligible to have badges restored.”
The new rules come one week after Twitter announced that it would pause its verification process over concerns of how the blue check for verified users is interpreted.
“Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance,” the company tweeted last Thursday.
The new rules appeared to already have an effect on some users. Media figure Laura Loomer and far-right British activist Tommy Robinson both took to the site to complain that they had lost their checks, while white supremacist leader Richard Spencer also appeared to lose his verification.
The truth is now hate speech pic.twitter.com/LHHFgdD05P— Tommy Robinson (@TRobinsonNewEra) November 15, 2017
Twitter just emailed me to tell me they are removing my "verified badge" because they claim my account "doesn't comply with Twitter's guidelines for verified accounts."— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) November 15, 2017
Translation: I'm a conservative. pic.twitter.com/F1AsxWI6Fm
Twitter’s announcement last week followed outcry over its decision to verify white supremacist Jason Kessler, the organizer of the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent in August.
Twitter’s moves signal a shift in how it perceives verification. The company had previously stuck to its position that it verifies users not as an endorsement but to show that “an account of public interest is authentic.”