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Updated: Instagram says it didn’t unverify Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

A Twitter rumor said the social network removed

Updated: Instagram says it didn’t unverify Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro
[Photo: Flickr user Eneas De Troya]
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Updated 8 p.m. Eastern:  The below story is updated with the following comment from Instagram:

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“Nicolás Maduro was not verified on Instagram, and we did not remove verification from his account,” an Instagram spokeswoman said in an email statement to media.

Original story:

The U.S. government has recognized his rival Juan Guaidó‏ as new interim president. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence lined up against him. A U.S. senator called him a terrorist. And now this.

Instagram has apparently stripped Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro of his “verified” status on Instagram.

Surely this will be the final straw that breaks Maduro politically in Venezuela. We’ll see.

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It’s unclear why the blue check mark vanished, but the politician’s loss of popularity might have something to do with it. (He said earlier today that Venezuela is breaking diplomatic relations with the United States.) The Facebook-owned social media site says it verifies accounts it believes are “in the public interest.” Blue checks are awarded to accounts that “represent a well-known, highly searched-for person, brand, or entity.” Despite his political status, Maduro is undeniably popular–and certainly newsworthy.

Twitter, meanwhile, has maintained Maduro’s verified status.

About the author

Fast Company Senior Writer Mark Sullivan covers emerging technology, politics, artificial intelligence, large tech companies, and misinformation. An award-winning San Francisco-based journalist, Sullivan's work has appeared in Wired, Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News, CNET, and many others.

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