Lost in the news of George Floyd’s demonstrations against U.S. police brutality and racism, Facebook secretly reported last week that it will now allow large-scale U.S. Facebook profile pages to verify their identity. The company said that it would affect accounts with large audiences who already have an inauthentic behavior trend and whose posts go viral quickly will be asked to check their identity or share their content.
Whether the proprietor of the profile decides not to check their identity or if the ID given does not match the linked Facebook account, the circulation of the viral post of the profile will continue to be diminished so that fewer people can see it.
Moreover, if the posting user is also a Facebook Page administrator, they would have to complete the Page Publishing Authorization and will not be able to post from their Page until the account is checked via Facebook’s systems.
The organization has said that the move to test profiles is about accountability.
“We want individuals to be certain about who is following the posts they see on Facebook and it’s important when it comes to posts it reaches a lot of people,” Facebook said in a Thursday statement.
Identifying evidence is not revolutionary for Facebook, although the company’s use of the process has increased in recent months, after the announcement that Russia-backed propaganda reached as many as 126 million Americans on Facebook’s site before and during the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook launched a new mechanism to resolve the problem in August 2018 involving Facebook Page managers protecting their accounts and checking their locations. The subsequent “People Who Manage This Site” segment had rolled out with a wide audience of all Facebook Pages in December 2018. In 2018, Facebook also started asking for ID verification for political “issue” ad buyers on topics discussed under national legislation.
In 2018 related authentication and verification services were also rolled out to Instagram. And this April, both Facebook, and Instagram were beginning to view the Facebook Page or Instagram account location with a wide audience for every message it shares. The firm believes this transparency will allow users to better determine the accounts’ reliability and authenticity.
It’s worth mentioning the timing of Facebook’s announcement about profile verification. It came on the same day that Trump signed an executive order specifically targeting social media platforms, which attacked the legal system on which they rely to protect themselves from legal responsibility for their user-created content.
The change is in a way, an effort to show Facebook that it truly controls its platform by reducing the dissemination of viral posts from unverified sources.
This was also the same day that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, appeared on Fox News to explain why he did not take the same action as Twitter did when Trump checked reality.