Ever wonder what that blue checkmark on a person’s social media profile image means? It indicates that the user owns a “verified social media account.” And at Meta, they’re opening up opportunities for social media users on Facebook and Instagram the opportunity to verify their accounts.
What does verification mean?
Account verification is a process that protects social media’s most popular users from impersonation. Since anyone can create a profile about themselves or someone else, the verification process proves the identity of the user. Consider a famous sports star, like Cristiano Ronaldo. Anyone can create a profile using his name, photo from the internet. A few posts from a point of view or voice could even suggest Cristiano Ronaldo is the owner. Verification would require the user to submit identification to prove that he is the one-and-only Cristiano Ronaldo. Otherwise, the account would not be verified.
How can you tell that an account is verified?
Social media accounts are verified in different ways. But most profiles include a verification checkmark or badge that appears to the right of a user’s name or profile image. The symbol is bright blue on Meta Platforms, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn and red on Pinterest.
How do you verify your account?
Account verification usually requires a few steps. Meta recently released their new verification process which includes pre-selecting a payment method for monthly fee collection and requires a picture of your photo identification like a driver’s license or passport.
Why is this important?
The internet and social media can include falsified and misleading information. Verification helps at-risk users protect their identity and personal brand, but it also helps followers and social media users to confirm the authentic origin of the content they are seeing. Verification allows for increased safety when browsing on social media by not allowing impersonators to taint a person’s image or use their perceived status to gain the trust of naive users which can result in inappropriate or phishing activities online.
Should I verify my account?
Chances are, you don’t need to pay to verify your account online. Verification is appropriate for famous or well-known users like actors and actresses, sports stars, and politicians. To learn more about how to verify your account online or to look for signs of verification on your favorite accounts, check out this article.
For questions about social media information and ethical evidence collection, SMI Aware has the tools and expertise you need to preserve information online. Contact us today to start your investigations.