NEW YORK CITY, RAW – Twitter says it mistakenly verified some fake accounts that the social media company has now permanently suspended, months after restarting its verification program.

The company in May relaunched verifications after a years-long freeze on public submissions for the site’s blue check marks, saying only “notable” users would be awarded the badge.

“We mistakenly approved the verification applications of a small number of inauthentic (fake) accounts,” Twitter said in a statement.

“We have now permanently suspended the accounts in question, and removed their verified badge, under our platform manipulation and spam policy.”

The social media company had paused the verification program in 2017 amid criticism that its was arbitrary and confusing.

It said at the time the check mark was being confused with “an endorsement or an indicator of importance”.

Under Twitter’s new verification rules, accounts must have been active in the last six months and fit one of several criteria: government, companies, brands and organisations, news outlets and journalists, entertainment, sports and gaming, activists, organisers and other influential individuals.