ADL Praises Twitter's Move to Remove Verification Badges for Prominent White Supremacists

New York, NY, November 16, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) praised Twitter’s decision to remove verification badges for a number of prominent white supremacists and other figures linked to the alt right, calling the move “an important step in the right direction.”

Twitter’s new policy reserves the right to remove verification at any time without notice for various reasons, including “promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people.”

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

When Twitter began “verifying” white supremacist leaders such as Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler, we were concerned that would give them unfounded legitimacy. Such verification is intended to boost the credibility of accounts and increases the likelihood their tweets will be read.

Twitter's decision to remove verification from these hateful accounts was an important step in the right direction. While these accounts still exist and free speech is still protected, this move demonstrates that white supremacist ideology is not in the public interest and will not be endorsed.

ADL will continue to work with Twitter and other industry leaders – through our Center for Technology and Society and Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab with engineers from the platforms – to limit the speed and distance hate can spread online. We applaud the many individuals who spoke out against Twitter's verification. We are encouraged Twitter came to uphold its users’ more positive values and hope this responsiveness continues.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.