White nationalist rally organizer loses Twitter verification

FILE - This Nov. 4, 2013, file photo, shows the icon for the Twitter app on an iPhone in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, 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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