Imposters have preyed on the innocent since our ancestors first crawled out of the slime. The Internet and then social media have made life even easier for imposters, who no longer have to don false beards and print fake diplomas to take in the mulititudes of gullible rubes. It's taken the fear and justified paranoia of powerful entities—celebrities and big, corporate brands, in this case—to motivate Facebook to crack down on these social media imposters and start issuing its own version of Twitter's verification badges.
Facebook's newly launched verified pages and profiles will "help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook," the company announced in a news release. Verified Facebook accounts will be marked with a blue circle with a white check inside it. These badges will appear next to account names in timelines and in search results.
The new badges will help brands—and the communicators who manage brand messaging—establish their true Facebook identity for their external audiences and for their employees.
The application of verification badges is entirely in the hands of Facebook. Facebook's help center says that you can't request to have your profile or page verified with a badge. You can, however, report to Facebook any fake accounts. The badges are reserved for "a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences."
So if you want a blue circle with a white check mark for your brand, get in line behind the velvet rope, and wear comfortable shoes.
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI