Jason Kessler, the organizer of the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that left one person dead, was verified on Twitter. The Daily Beast reports that the white supremacist got the official badge next to his name Tuesday.
The social media company, which recently made public statements about fighting hate speech on its platform, says the blue check mark is used to inform people “that an account of public interest is authentic.”
“A verified badge does not imply an endorsement by Twitter,” the site’s policy states.
Still, the verified status caused a swift backlash from other users on the platform.
Kessler previously called Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when a car plowed into the crowd demonstrating against the white supremacists that descended on Charlotesville, “a fat, disgusting Communist.” He added that her death was “payback time.”
Police identified James Alex Fields Jr., a white supremacist, as the driver who hit Heyer and others at the protest. He has been charged with multiple felonies, including one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident resulting in a death.