Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Twitter Communications Social Networks The Internet

Twitter Bans, Removes Verified Status of White Supremacists (thedailybeast.com) 707

After updating the rules of its verification program on Wednesday, Twitter has begun banning and removing verified check marks from white supremacist accounts. For example, white supremacists Richard Spencer and Charlottesville "Unite The Right" protest creator Jason Kessler had their verified statuses revoked today. The Daily Beast reports: The verified check mark was meant to denote "that an account of public interest is authentic," the company said in a series of tweets on Wednesday, but that "verification has long been perceived as an endorsement." "This perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse," a company spokesperson tweeted. Users can now lose their blue checkmarks for "inciting or engaging in harassment of others," "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," supporting people who promote those ideas, and a slew of other reasons.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Twitter Bans, Removes Verified Status of White Supremacists

Comments Filter:
      • by qwerty shrdlu ( 799408 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @12:37AM (#55560081)
        And also here: https://xkcd.com/1357/ [xkcd.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mashiki ( 184564 )
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@NosPam.world3.net> on Thursday November 16, 2017 @08:05AM (#55561447) Homepage Journal

            The comic you linked to is full of obvious errors. For example, it quotes John Stewart Mill, but completely misses the point he was making. He wasn't arguing that Twitter should not ban anyone ever because it's the new town square public forum, he was arguing for anonymous speech and for the availability of safe spaces where people could express unpopular views.

            Basically Mill was an advocate of 4chan and privacy.

            The other obvious flaw is that it says we risk leaving who can speak to who can shout the loudest, while also advocating that everyone be given a free megaphone. Mill understood this, his argument was not that everyone should get their own column in The Times, it was that as an individual one should seek to consider all points of view and arguments. In fact, he recognized that publications specializing in certain ideas were necessary to fully develop them, because otherwise you end up constantly defending the basics and never get to discuss the detail with like-minded people in a safe environment.

          • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @08:53AM (#55561663)

            And other bollocks. Throwing in a bunch of quotes randomly combined with a complete misunderstanding of British history is not a rebuttal. The XKCD was not against free speech, it was pointing out that just because it's not illegal to say does not entitle you to a platform, let alone any platform you like. Also freedom without responsibility is anarchy, the same is true with free speech, free speech has never protected you from criticism.

            People trying to defend racism (yes, white supremacists are racists, placing one race as superior to another... let alone all others is the dictionary definition of racism) are the ones who are destroying free speech. They are using this as a thought terminating cliche to silence criticism. White Supremacists are not some hard done by minority group fighting for equal rights or recognition, they are fighting to suppress equal rights for other groups they don't like. Using free speech to defend them from critics is devaluing free speech. Free speech does not mean what you say is right, it just means it is not illegal to say it. Using the free speech excuse to silence critics, especially valid critics, reduces freedom.

            I'm a firm believer in playing the devils advocate, but one must always consider the nature of the devil for which one advocates for. Knowing who you are defending is key in defending it successfully. Often using the wrong defence harms you more than not defending them in the first place. Finally, using free speech as a defence is the worst possible argument, falling back on free speech means that the most compelling defence you have for what you said is that it is literally not illegal to say it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    whining about how they're being persecuted for hating people.

    • the irony is that they *are* being persecuted by people who hate them.

  • Verification (Score:5, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:15PM (#55559141) Homepage
    So... now there's no way to verify that a white supremacist actually said that racist thing?
    • Re:Verification (Score:5, Interesting)

      by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:22PM (#55559181)

      I guess the internet is going to end up split with left wingers having their own little nest and the right wingers theirs. Pretty much how the media worked out and now it'll be on to other things. We'll have right wing stores and left wing stores. The only thing that bothered me is I never thought that in the divorce the liberals would get the NFL.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by murdocj ( 543661 )

        Or maybe we simply won't pretend that it's ok when people who want to commit mass murder preach their hatred openly?

        • Re: Verification (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:39PM (#55559293)

          If that's the plan, then the Antifa needs the same treatment. No white supremacists with verified accounts, and also no black supremacists with verified accounts.

        • Re:Verification (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:55PM (#55559397) Homepage

          Random scumbags on the right always represent everybody you disagree with, but when an asshole from Black Lives Matters murders five cops or a Muslim blows somebody up, they are anomalies and we shouldn't paint with a broad brush.

          The Bernie Sanders supporter who attempted to murder a dozen or so Republican Senators and Congressman left us no possible doubt about his motivation. In a March 12th post on his Facebook page, he wrote.

          "Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It's Time To Destroy Trump & Co."

          Now, it must be admitted that his reasoning isn't actually all that bad. If the President really is a traitor and, if he is literally destroying our democracy, then it's not unreasonable to think that violent action might be warranted. So, his inference isn't really what's crazy here. It's, rather, the ideas from which he derived it that are the problem.

          So, where did he get these crazy ideas? Well, let's see. Here's a March 7th Newsweek headline from a piece by President Clinton's Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich: Is Trump a Traitor or a Paranoid? Former MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann, Democratic propogandist Michael Moore, and venerable Democratic wise man Bill Moyers have all explicitly called the President a traitor. And, of course, the list of Democratic celebrities and politicians who have accused the President of serving Russian interests without necessarily using the word "traitor" would be very long indeed.

          There can be no real debate about where exactly James Hodgkinson got the ideas that made trying to murder a dozen Republican politicians seem not totally unreasonable. He got them from perfectly mainstream political and intellectual leaders of the Democratic party. Anyone with half a brain knew all along that it was only a matter of time before someone started taking their manipulative nonsense seriously, as well as the horrific results that would ensue.

          Why hasn't Twitter taken away these people's blue checkmarks?

          • Re:Verification (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @10:06PM (#55559461)

            I am with you on this, and I lived under commies... sadly they cant look in the mirror

          • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

            by Gravis Zero ( 934156 )

            There can be no real debate about where exactly James Hodgkinson got the ideas that made trying to murder a dozen Republican politicians seem not totally unreasonable. He got them from perfectly mainstream political and intellectual leaders of the Democratic party.

            If you have to tell us then it's obviously debatable.

            Anyone with half a brain knew all along that it was only a matter of time before someone started taking their manipulative nonsense seriously, as well as the horrific results that would ensue.

            Hyper-partisanship is a problem and yes, I know that violence is going to occur but not for the reason you believe. The truth of the matter is that the less representative the government is of it's people, the more prone people are to violence. Right now we have a very low-representation government. This has been done though a number of ways of filtering who and what people can vote for.

            * First-past-the-poll voting is reductive and always result in a t

        • You're not going to stop them short of full-scale repression (which I'll do you the courtesy of assuming you don't want). They'll just do it where you can't get at them. Like the OP says, we'll split right down the middle.

      • I guess the internet is going to end up split with left wingers having their own little nest and the right wingers theirs.

        These guys aren't just "right wingers". I know right wingers. I have friends who are right wingers.

        These are white supremacists who are calling for a white ethnostate and genocide (albeit Spencer has now changed that to a "soft genocide" (his words)). You can be way right wing and not be a little goose-stepping trust fund fuck.

        It shouldn't be a surprise that Twitter doesn't want to am

        • These guys aren't just "right wingers". I know right wingers. I have friends who are right wingers.

          Exactly! I have friends who have right wingers. A couple of them are even running as candidates for right wing parties in the upcoming elections in my country. We're still friends, we go out and drink together, we sometimes have spirited discussions, but we're still good friends despite disagreeing on politics.

          And even though I don't like that their parties are way too deep in the pockets of corporate interests and will probably contribute to an erosion of worker rights and other causes I care about, they'r

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:15PM (#55559145)

    So, people think the check means Twitter is endorsing the verified person. So, now it officially does.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @11:56PM (#55559927) Journal

      Yep, they removed the mark from these people BECAUSE they don't endorse them. So "if we don't endorse someone, we remove the check mark".

      They did NOT remove the check mark from Black Panthers and Antifa accounts.

      Twitter fucked up here. Once they start removing the check mark from people they don't endorse, obviously people will say "so why don't you remove the check mark from bad person)?" If they refuse to remove the mark, that now looks like an endorsement.

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:19PM (#55559165) Journal

    Considering the recent moves in the media, be it twitter, facebook, news articles, reddit posts, moderation across the web, youtube, shaming campaigns etc, it's extremely difficult to actually identify, clear, distinct, genuine racists.

    The term has been wildly thrown around the web in the past 3 years (along with misogynist and other such things) to the point it's verging on meaningless.

    Why take someones words and analyse them when you can just shriek and bray and imply they're saying something they're not. The accusation alone is enough to "throw a dead cat on the table" and totally redirect the conversation.

    I myself am 'clearly racists' according to some comments I've got on reddit, because I have the gall to take issue with my countries *extremely high* immigration policy, which is impacting housing affordability, renting affordability and the jobs market (as well as general congestion, sustainability) - I need not mention a race mind you, but I'm clearly racist because I think maybe we should be thinking about this long term.

    The wild labeling of any 'dissenter of our groupthink' is just causing more backlash. I can't help but take a cynical view now of anyone accused of such things and try to find the *actual truth* of what was said, to see if it's taken out of context or not.

    In conclusion, basically, I'm not sure I really trust twitter to get this right, in the slightest.

    NOTE / DISCLAIMER: (general rant, 2 people mentioned in article could *totally* genuinely be lunatics for all I know, but I'll be damned if I'd take twitter opinion as the final word on it, nor the average twitter users 'reports' either)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arbiter1 ( 1204146 )
      Sadly people get called racist or white supremacists if they don't tow a certain view point. Its to a point that word has no real meaning since its used to loosely and freely to describe anyone a person with a conflicting view point.
      • I've seen people called racists or white supremacists purely because they're members of white supremacist groups, or consider blacks and/or hispanics and/or jews and/or muslims to be inferior people, and even because all they've done is make wild unpleasant and false accusations against non-white non-christian minorities.

        It's getting ridiculous man. I mean, if you can't say "Jews do all the crime" without people calling you a racist, then what kind of society do we live in?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I myself am 'clearly racists' according to some comments I've got on reddit, because I have the gall to take issue with my countries *extremely high* immigration policy, which is impacting housing affordability, renting affordability and the jobs market (as well as general congestion, sustainability) - I need not mention a race mind you, but I'm clearly racist because I think maybe we should be thinking about this long term.

      You do not need to actually do anything to be a racist . . . if you are a white, middle-aged male . . . "You racist!"

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        You do not need to actually do anything to be a racist . . . if you are a white, middle-aged male . . . "You racist!"

        You can also be not white, and still be a racist too. The current favorite among the left is to label asians(especially JP, CN, or PH) who support western ideals, democracy, free speech, etc. Is to label them as banana's aka "yellow on the outside, white on the inside." Which isn't any diffrent then the old house ni*ggers, uncle tom and other labels used by racists.

        I hope the left is enjoying their identity politics, because this is the beast you created. Even funnier is just how far they'll twist thems

      • Only if you are a WASP ...

    • Well, if in the pursuit of absolute freedom, some firms will pay the price.
      I don't think most of the world is ready for a Star Trek universe where most
      of the time, the growth of the mind is valued more than wealth.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by murdocj ( 543661 )

      I'll make it easy for you: When people self-identify as "white nationalists" they are racists. By definition.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'll make it easy for you: When people self-identify as "white nationalists" they are racists. By definition.

        Long before a(t least a) bunch of racists started labeling themselves 'white nationalists', there were many 'black nationalist' self-labelers, and it seems like they weren't called racist (as much at least). I myself am not a 'nationalist' of any sort, I believe in human rights that should be protected and fought for around the world. Though the radial importance of locality, despite the internet factor, still means that it is most logical to deal with your vaguely near neighbors socially before worrying

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by luther349 ( 645380 )
      yep protest the libtards deleting history and is nothing just pulling the race card. maybe we need to start deleting black history see how well the black people will like it.
    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @01:49AM (#55560309)
      Sadly that's where we're at these days. I've been declared a racist because I hold the 'nazi' belief that we're all equal and decisions should be color blind. That infuriates the 'two wrongs make a right' crowd who believes we must address past discrimination by flipping which group gets the advantage. I'm also pure evil for acknowledging the black-white IQ gap; even entertaining the idea that such a thing exists makes you an alt-right nazi, nevermind that I'm calling for the problems that lead to it to be fixed. SJWs inform me that merely asking the question 'are scores different between blacks and whites' makes you irredeemably racist, because you've already exposed yourself as thinking there's even a possibility that there may be differences between races. Whether it's true or not never enters into the equation.
      But that's nothing compared to how incomprehensibly sexist I am for having the unmitigated gall to believe that women are every bit as strong willed as men, and thus capable of saying 'no' to a sexual advance, so affirmative consent is not needed, and further that when a man and women are both drunk, the woman is just as responsible for her actions as the man-- regret isn't rape, and when two equally impaired people have sex, the woman isn't a victim nor is the man guilty of sexual assault. And I'm supporting rape culture and the patriarchy because I believe these college Title IX kangaroo courts lack essential due process, very clearly acting on a principle of 'guilty until proven innocent' and using a burden of proof so low it doesn't even come close to meeting the weak 'preponderance' standard it's ostensibly supposed to require (unless the person accused of misconduct is female, then the burden exceeds even 'beyond a reasonable doubt'-- in a case where a slightly buzzed woman gave a bj to a blacked out unconscious man, and explicitly admitted to that, it was the man who was found responsible for assaulting her. while unconscious. with his penis in her mouth.). If you don't support guilt upon accusation with no ability to challenge the veracity of the story, that means you support rape. Lawyers should be allowed to speak and ask any relevant question? How dare I support traumatizing the survivor with facts that cast doubt on her lived experiences.

      Facts are racist, due process is sexist, and anyone not supporting the most radical actions of the progressives is Literally Hitler. And it's getting worse and worse and worse. The left is imploding because they can't stop turning on allies to the progressives who dare challenge the orthodoxy- flipping the oppressors instead of ending oppression, and insisting there's no difference at all between men and women, or between races. And god forbid you use peer-reviewed studies to show that the wage gap largely doesn't even exist because men and women on average make different choices-- science is just propaganda from the patriarchy. Demonizing white men likely contributed to Darth Cheeto's victory, but the left has just been doubling down on the same extreme identity politics, and is just asking for an even stronger backlash.

      I'm extremely liberal myself, and would never even consider voting for a Republican, as I loathe 95% of their platform, but as a cis-hetero white male who insists on adhering to equality and facts, I feel very unwelcome in the left.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fafalone ( 633739 )
        That someone modded this comment troll pretty much proves everything in it is accurate.
  • *CRAZY* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:29PM (#55559221)

    Saying that it's treated as an endorsement, they are acknowledging they use the checkmark as an endorsement now. So the 'Verified' checkmark means Twitter, as a corporate entity, is endorsing whomever they give it to. As a potential investor, I find it extremely off-putting a media organization would taint themselves with moderation of speech because there's no way to come out clean. Someone *always* disagrees with whatever you say, and Twitter decided to join the fray? That's *insane*!

  • politics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekymachoman ( 1261484 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:31PM (#55559227)
    > "inciting or engaging in harassment of others," "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

    Fuck those 3 white supremacist dudes, but it's ok for tens of thousands ANTIFA and similar to spew hate, insult and otherwise promote hate and violence ?

    Everybody is aware of this.. just making sure it's pointed out, as it should be, every time they do something like this where they decide who gets to have a voice and who doesn't.
    • Some of those claiming to be antifa are counterfits.

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/craig... [buzzfeed.com]

      https://www.vice.com/en_us/art... [vice.com]

  • Wrong thing to do (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:37PM (#55559281) Homepage

    I think this is the wrong thing for Twitter to do. They ought to reinforce the idea that verification is just that: verification of identity. It's no more an endorsement of the person than a driver's license is an endorsement of them by the DMV. Personally I like a flag that tells me whether an account really belongs to the person in question or a troll trying to get them in trouble. In the case of white supremacists and their ilk, I consider the verified checkmark to be a target selection aid. It helps me insure I'm taking offense at and responding to someone who deserves it, not someone who's gotten the MAGA folks annoyed.

    • This, exactly.

    • It's no more an endorsement of the person than a driver's license is an endorsement of them by the DMV.

      You don't have to pass a driving test to get a licence in America? You learn something every day.

      In my country, a driver's licence is proof not only of your identity, but also that you have demonstrated some level of knowledge of the road rules and some level of competence in operating a 2 tonne death machine in a public area.

  • by sanosuke001 ( 640243 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2017 @09:43PM (#55559325)

    How about they just make it actually mean "verified" and allow ANYONE to get verified by sending in identification verification? Problem solved and it isn't a special club anymore!

    • But they LIKE having a special club. It's all about status, and they LOVE status. Twitter handing out Vs is like Hollywood handing out Oscars. And they only hand them out to people they really like, such as Roman Polanski. [latimes.com]

      Hollywood is rallying behind the fugitive filmmaker. Top filmmakers are signing a pro-Polanski petition, Whoopi Goldberg says the director didn't really commit rape, and Debra Winger complains "the whole art world suffers" in such arrests.

      More than 100 industry leaders and prominent aut

    • by imidan ( 559239 )

      There's no going back, now.

      Apparently, that was their original goal for the program ("The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic"). But the perception was that verification implied endorsement, and then Twitter started reinforcing that by doing things like revoking Milo Whatshisface's verification because he was being shitty on their service. By doing that, they imply that verification doesn't just mean that an account is authentic--after all, Milo's

  • I'm very much looking forward to seeing a few radical left Twitterers getting the same treatment, because I'm sure there can't be any significant political bias at Twitter or any of the other giant CA-based internet companies that are forcing their PeeCee agenda down our throats, right?

  • ... is a depressing rabbit hole of great importance because uh, you know ... no, not that it's profitable, that's not it ... because uh ... no, it's not a vetted source of commentary, it's because, you know ...

    You know what?

    Fuck it.

  • Is it hot in here or is it just me? Civil War in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 -1 - !
  • Considering I seriously doubt there's anything Spencer and I agree on except maybe whether it's raining and that I don't pay any attention to Twitter I'll just go ahead and enjoy my ability to be indifferent to the whole thing.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @01:05AM (#55560159) Homepage Journal

    The verified tag is nothing more than badge of social status. At which point, it's useless.

    The mere fact of being DE-verified pretty much proves this.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Thursday November 16, 2017 @02:52AM (#55560499)

    Will they be next?

  • by xenobyte ( 446878 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @03:33AM (#55560621)

    How many left wing nutjobs and so-called anti-fascistic fascists have had their twitter recognition and/or accounts removed?

    Thought so. This is standard censorship where we block those voices we don't like hearing, leaving more room for those we do like.

  • I can say that without seeing the list, because like Tommy Robinson said:
    The truth is hate speech now https://twitter.com/TRobinsonN... [twitter.com]

Chemistry is applied theology. -- Augustus Stanley Owsley III

Working...