Twitter appears to have removed its blue “verified” checkmark from a number of users on the platform over the past few days, a purge that included Rudy Takala, a journalist for Mediaite who reported on former President Obama’s abuse of government surveillance powers.
Takala reported that Twitter removed his “verified status” an hour after he tweeted out his column about the Obama spying allegations.
I tweeted this column about the Obama administration spying on journalists at 5:47 Thursday.— August Takala (@AugustTakala) May 22, 2020
Around an hour later, my verification badge magically disappeared.
????? @TwitterSupport @TwitterComms https://t.co/oyP7zJtvd8
The Mediaite column was a report on recent statements made by investigative journalist Sharyl Atkisson. Atkisson, formerly of CBS, alleges that her computer was spied upon by the Obama justice department in 2013 and 2014. She has been fighting a long-running legal battle with the Justice Department over the allegations, and recently moved to reopen the recently-dismissed case after a whistleblower provided new information, implicating Rod Rosenstein.
It seems that other users on Twitter have also been deverified in recent days. Podcast host Josh Lekach reported that he lost his verified badge shortly after posting an interview with Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who is running in the GOP primary for FL-21.