Tommy Robinson has been stripped of his verified status on Twitter after the social media platform took aim at a number of controversial individuals it deemed had breeched its new guidelines.
Users can now have their coveted blue ticks taken away for a number of offences including “promoting hate”, “harassment” and posting “gruesome, shocking and disturbing imagery”.
Twitter also says behaviour “on or off Twitter” can lead to a loss of verified status.
Twitter now says verified users can have status revoked based on the content of their tweets, including “promoting hate” pic.twitter.com/XbhZp9dhnD
Robinson announced his deverification in a doom-laden tweet.
Others to lose their blue ticks include white supremacist, Richard Spencer, alt-right Mormon ‘Wife with a Purpose’ and alt-right commentator Laura Loomer.
Twitter just this very second, deleted my verified account status! ?
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.” Translation: I’m a conservative. pic.twitter.com/F1AsxWI6Fm
November 15, 2017
Verified no more! Is it not okay to be proudly White? ??♂️
Robinson, the ex-EDL leader and outspoken critic of Islam, told HuffPost UK the move was a “blatant attack on free speech”.
He added: “I’ve breached none of their guidelines. If they are saying that I promote hate then we have laws against that in the UK so the police would have arrested me.
Asked if he would take action against the move, he said: “I don’t need to – by doing this the public become aware of the attempts to silence me thus giving me more support.”
Whilst many of those supporters agreed with him others were less sympathetic.
Is there anything more snowflakey than crying about a lost blue tick?
Losing your blue tick is not a free speech issue you bunch of babies
I would never normally encourage viewing the accounts of evil fuckwits like Spencer, Loomer, etc, but their pissbaby whines about losing a blue tick on a website are truly a delight.
November 16, 2017
But others suggested the move puts Twitter in a “tricky place” and that it could be seen as an endorsement of some views over others.
By removing verification from accounts that don’t meet new guidelines, @Twitter has now put itself in a tricky place where the implication is that a blue tick *does* equal endorsement — Claire Phipps (@Claire_Phipps) November 16, 2017
Twitter are doing the blue tick thing wrong. Make it available to anyone who wants to confirm identity or get rid of it. Removing it from Nazis means it IS a privilege.
November 16, 2017
I don’t agree with much of what Baked Alaska says, but why was he banned @Twitter @jack? Why is twitter de-verifying conservative voices? Why was @apurposefulwife’s blue tick removed??? Why won’t they reveal reasons behind bans? Why don’t Twitter believe in 1st Amendment rights?? — Michael Black ? (@MichaelBlack777) November 16, 2017
Last week, Twitter attempted to clarify that the check mark was just meant to authenticate identity and voice while adding they were temporarily pausing general verifications.
Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon
November 9, 2017
The full list of reasons people can lose their blue ticks is as follows:
Intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing one’s display name or bio.
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 organizations or individuals that promote the above.
Directly or indirectly threatening or encouraging any form of physical violence against an individual or any group of people, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
Engaging in activity on Twitter that violates the Twitter Rules.