Kessler in Charlottesville. Photo: AP

Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, got a Twitter verification earlier this week. Now, Twitter announced it's pausing verifications until confusion about the status is resolved. "Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance," the company said.

Why it matters: Social media verification is a big deal. While verification was meant to prevent copycats, the blue checkmark has grown to be seen as a sign of status and approval from the social network.

Kessler once tweeted that Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer's death "was payback time." He later briefly deleted his account, per the Daily Beast.

The backdrop: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey put out a new set of guidelines for the platform in October, which included removing "hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence." But Twitter, along with other tech giants, is caught in a lose-lose situation as it toes the line between policing its content and clamping down on free speech.

Go deeper: Twitter's free speech dance

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Dave Lawler, author of World
21 mins ago - World

A hinge moment for America's role in the world

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

The world may be living through the last gasps of America First — or just getting a taste of what's to come.

Why it matters: President Trump's message at this week's virtual UN General Assembly was short and relatively simple: global institutions like the World Health Organization are weak and beholden to China; international agreements like the Iran deal or Paris climate accord are "one-sided"; and the U.S. has accomplished more by going its own way.

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 32,647,382 — Total deaths: 990,473 — Total recoveries: 22,527,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 7,053,171 — Total deaths: 204,093 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.