One of the scariest things I’ve heard about fake accounts on social media, is actual cases where a child has “liked” or followed a celebrity account only to then be approached by the impostor and then enticed into a private messaging chat, where the fake celebrity has then groomed the victim for cyber sex, or convinced the victim to provide nude photos or video. One predator tracked down last year had set up several fake Justin Beiber pages to target his victims. I’ve heard of other cases of this happening, so it is in no way an isolated case. It is so important to educate children about fake accounts, so that they will follow or “like” only genuine profiles when they are using social media.
The Blue Tick
To make sure your children avoid fake accounts, let them know that they should look out for a blue verified tick before following or “liking” a celebrity page or profile. The blue verification tick is now available on both Facebook and Twitter. A blue tick badge besides a profile name signifies that the page or profile has been officially verified by these social networks. A profile with a lot of “likes” or follows is not always a good indicator of it’s validity.
The video app Vine also has a verified tick, if you already have a verified Twitter account your account on Vine, owned by Twitter, will be automatically be verified.
As yet, Instagram doesn’t have any “verified” badges. A tip would be to check the official website associated with the account if in any doubt. A genuine Instagram account should show a link to the celebrities official website.
You cannot request to have your Twitter or Facebook account verified with a blue tick. For both Facebook and Twitter it is by “invite only”
From Facebook :
What’s a verified profile or Page?
Some well-known public figures and Pages with large followings are verified by Facebook as having an authentic identity. You’ll see a blue badge next to a verified profile or Page’s name. These profiles and Pages may include:
Popular brands and businesses
We verify profiles or Pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be. Keep in mind that not all authentic profiles and Pages are verified and that you can’t request to have your profile or Page verified. You can report fake accounts that are impersonating you, your business or your brand.
If your profile or Page isn’t verified, there are other ways to help your followers or the people that like your Page know that your identity is authentic. For example, you can:
Link to your Facebook profile or Page from your official website
Complete the About section of your profile or Page to provide more information
Twitter has very much the same policy as Facebook but a good note:
How to identify an official verified account:
- The verified badge will appear in the top-right portion of a user’s profile page just above the name, location, and bio.
- If the verified badge appears anywhere else on a user’s profile page (such as in the avatar or the background) it is not a verified account.
- The verified badge cannot be used unless it is provided by Twitter. Accounts using a badge as part of profile pictures, background images, or in any way implying false verification will be permanently suspended.
- The verified badge will also appear next to usernames in people searches on Twitter.
- The verified badge will have the same color even if users customize the background of their profile page or change the color in the sidebar.