If I said it once, I’ve said it a 1000 times, Identity Verification of Adults on Social Networking Sites can be used today and will start to solve problems associated with identity and age related issues on Facebook (and MySpace, Twitter, etc.).
In mid-June of this year, Alex Grossman – a former film executive who has since written and directed commercials and short films that appear on sites like funnyordie.com — began to work on a screenplay.
“I was messing around with the theme of those who put ‘faith over fact’ in this country,” Grossman said. “I started thinking about Sarah Palin and her following: ‘What would it be like to be her? What are these people like? And do they really know her?'” Under the guise of research, he decided to attempt to pass himself off as Palin on Facebook. He tried every variation on Palin’s name he could think of. To his surprise, he was able to claim the Facebook name “Governor Palin.”
What took Facebook over a month to figure out – that “Governor Palin” wasn’t who she said she was—could have been accomplished instantly at the time Grossman opened the fake Facebook account using identity verification.
Reminiscent of this time last year, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force was mid-way through its “evaluation” of technologies that could be used to keep kids safe. One of IDology’s arguments was the fact that technologies existed that could be deployed today to verify adults (anyone 18+) to prevent fraud and identity theft. And, as we repeatedly pointed out, these technologies are being used hundreds of thousands of times a day by companies in industries such as financial, telecommunications, insurance, healthcare, and more.
But alas, our arguments always fell on deaf ears.
I still firmly believe verifying adults in social networks would go a long way to protecting kids. And celebrities. Not to mention all us “average Joes” who don’t want to fall victim to identity theft and fraud. Even using just a basic level of identity verification (e.g. Is this identity real? Are there any fraud flags associated with it?), Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, etc. could all overcome their issues of fraud in a heartbeat.