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A CSR or Certificate Signing Request is a block of encoded text that contains information about the company that an SSL certificate will be issued to and the SSL public key. Once a CSR is created it is difficult to verify what information is contained in it because it is encoded. Since Certificate Authorities use the information in CSRs to create the certificate, you need to decode CSRs to make sure the information is accurate. Decoding a CSR verifies that it contains the correct information.
$ openssl x509 -in certificate.crt -text -noout