Twitter has had 'Verified' accounts for years, creating a system which helps users know that the person whose Twitter feed they are Following is the actual person they think they are. This credentialing system creates a feeling of security and legitimacy for the network and its users and has helped avoid an embarrassing situation where users are duped by imposters (for the most part).
Now Facebook is following in Twitter's footsteps. The company announced this week they will begin allowing some users to submit government issued identification to have their account 'Verified' much the same way Twitter does.
This is great for journalists, celebrities, singers and pop icons. It is also good news for their fans. Unfortunately, it is meaningless for the majority of us who use Facebook every day to communicate, share and interact with others.
My question is, why can't they offer verification for everyone? I would like to know that when I am sharing with someone who claims to be a scientist at NASA, they actually ARE who they claim to be. Just as, when people communicate with me, they can be assured I am who I claim to be.
It would seem like a simple enough thing to do, and I am not suggesting everyone be forced to hand over a passport every time they want to create a social media profile, but the option should at least exist. If someone wants to create a 'Verified' account they shouldn't need millions of fans to do so. In fact, people should be encouraged to Verify their accounts as a way of creating a more sincere network; a place where you can be sure the person you are talking, sharing or "Liking" is actually who they claim to be.
Until this option is available to everyone these networks will still be more less a hit-or-miss when it comes to sincerity, and that's just not good business, especially when it comes to a tool used to build relationships.