White nationalist rally organizer loses Twitter verification

Twitter
FILE - This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo, shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen in New York. Twitter vowed to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment on its platform, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet-storm that the company was "still" not doing enough to protect its users. In an email shared with The Associated Press Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, Twitter's head of safety policy outlined the new guidelines to the company's Trust and Safety Council, a group of outside organizations that advises Twitter on its policies against abuse. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – The organizer of the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has lost his verified status on Twitter, along with several other prominent white nationalists and far-right conservatives.

News outlets report Unite The Right organizer Jason Kessler on Wednesday lost the blue check mark that was bestowed upon him last month, a move that elicited backlash against the social media site from those who saw verification as an endorsement of Kessler’s values or noteworthiness.

Twitter said in a series of tweets that it eliminated the verification status of accounts in violation of new guidelines , which include those that promote discrimination-based hate or violence.

Kessler, who has previously used Twitter to say Heather Heyer’s death at the August rally “was payback time,” claims he’s being censored. Twitter is a private company with no legal free-speech obligations to users.

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