White Nationalist Rally Organizer Loses Twitter Verification

Alt-right blogger Jason Kessler waits for protesters to quiet before beginning a news conference in front of City Hall August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photographer: NurPhoto/NurPhoto

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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