There are other "common characteristics" of verified accounts that Twitter lays out, including if an account uses the real name of a person or company, an image on the account reflects a person or company or a person's Twitter bio lists their profession.
He took to Twitter on November 7 to celebrate earning that blue checkmark.
The revelation that Twitter had lent its imprimatur to such a figure unleashed an angry response and, within hours, led the site to issue a statement pledging to temporarily halt new verifications as it reexamine the process.
"We should've communicated faster on this", he said, acknowledging that the "system is broken".
"Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance", Twitter's user support division wrote in a tweet. "We have created this confusion". Such accounts receive a small, coveted blue badge with a white check mark.
Kessler is crediting with orchestrating the August white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Twitter's controversial decision to verify Kessler comes less than a week after it updated its rules to offer users more visibility into its unpredictable decision-making process. "I must be the only working class white advocate with that distinction".
"Twitter has made a mess of everything related to race, racial harassment, online hate and this is just one more example of their inability to get it together on this front", said Heidi Beirich, spokeswoman for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Across the Twitterverse, people including comedian Michael Ian Black came down on the company.
However, some far-right and white-supremacist accounts have now also been verified.
Critics have called out Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in recent days for what they said seemed to be a tacit validation of violent racism.
More recently, an applications process was opened up by which accounts could state why they might justify verification, expanding massively the range of people who could potentially be verified.
Several celebrities on Twitter were quick to condemn Twitter's decision to give Kessler the badge.
Twitter has long grappled with questions and controversy about speech on its platform.