The “verification badge” is one of the most coveted symbols on most social media platforms.
Being “verified” online sometimes feels like being put on a pedestal. The badge somehow elevates your social status in the online world. It’s a bit like earning a designated degree or award.
Social media platforms like Twitter have set their rules for verifying individuals, companies, and brands. Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media all let you know what it takes to get verified online.
As an “average” Joe, that might seem like a lot just to prove you are who you say you are just to get verified. Whether it’s having 10,000 subscribers or having your own Wikipedia page, it can seem difficult to prove that you are real or a significant person in society. But that shouldn’t be the case.
In all honesty, we believe that anyone who can provide an official document proving their authenticity should be verified on a social media platform, regardless of their fame or social status.
Current verification requirements are “obsolete”
There are different rules for getting verified on different social media platforms. On Twitter, they described its verification rules on their website.
Facebook and Instagram also have their own separate rules. But what most of these platforms have in common as being verified is that you have to be “authentic” and “well known”.
So if you think you’re a genuine, well-known person, but you apply and get rejected, is that fair? Some might say it’s because they are public companies with their own rules.
You might be a very well-known blogger in your community in Cameroon, but if you don’t have a Wikipedia page or you don’t have a local story about you in the news, does that mean you don’t aren’t genuine and well-known?
If there was a system where you just uploaded an official government ID and an additional ID to confirm who you are, that might solve the online “verification” problem.
Dating apps worked well with online verifications
Dating apps are a place where everyone has the chance to be verified. Apps like Tinder and Bumble allow users to follow a simple process to get verified with a blue checkmark. Sending a selfie or video or sending a local ID allows you to verify.
Online verification on dating apps helps a lot because it helps reduce “cat fishingwhere a user impersonates someone else using a photo of someone else. Catfishing can be harmless, but being duped online can be an embarrassing experience and can erode trust in the dating platform.
This online verification is optional, but it helps people verify who might or might not be “real” on dating apps. It encourages proving who you claim to be and also increases your chances of getting an online date because others will see you as a real person.
Introduce a tier system for verifications
In the early days of Instagram, the founders tried to elevate the platform by inviting celebrities to sign up and post photos. Celebrities would receive the “blue badge” to show they were the real deal. It wasn’t until 2018 that Instagram allowed people to manually ask to be verified on the platform.
Being “exclusive” can certainly make your personal brand more popular.
Social media platforms can still provide that “exclusive” effect if anyone can be verified. They can introduce a “Tier” system for verification.
A simple ID submission can get you verified on Twitter. But if you have 10,000 followers, if you are a politician or a big celebrity, you can get a different color badge to distinguish yourself from others.
The debate over online verification for social media platforms has many layers. Verification can be optional for users if they don’t want to get a verification badge. But just like on Tinder or Bumble, not being verified can send you off like a sore thumb and reduce your social interactions.
A level system couldn’t easily help. Give badges to everyone. A social media influencer? Give them a purple badge. A politician? An orange badge.
If someone like Elon Musk buys Twitter, will he take our suggestion and let someone get verified so they can weed out spambots?
We’ll see what happens. Until then, that revered “Blue Check” might be up for grabs for the common folk.