Facebook has announced an expansion of its verification requirements, which will see some people with large followings on personal profiles now asked to undergo identification checks.
As explained by Facebook:
“We want to ensure the content you see on Facebook is authentic and comes from real people, not bots or others trying to conceal their identity. In 2018, we started to verify the identity of people managing Pages with large audiences, and now we’re extending ID verification to some profiles with large audiences in the US.”
Back in 2018, The Social Network launched a new ‘Page Publishing Authorization’ program which has since seen the managers of some ‘large’ Facebook Pages put through a required identification process.
As you can see here, the process requires Page managers to secure their account with two-factor authentication, and confirm their primary country location. If those details don’t match up, or align with the information listed on their profile, Facebook will reduce the distribution of their posts. If the requested user fails to complete these steps in the alloted time, Facebook will also reduce their reach – while if that user is also a Page admin, their Page’s default setting for “Posting as” and “Liking and commenting as” will change from their Page to their personal profile.
So, basically, Facebook will ensure a lot fewer people see your updates, either from your profile or Page, until you complete the outlined steps.
It seems like a fairly basic measure, but aside from adding an extra level of security for large accounts, it also gives Facebook another means to detect users who falsely list their country of origin.
This became a key point of concern following the 2016 US Presidential Election, in which Russian-based groups targeted American voters with misleading posts and ads. Facebook has since sought to add more transparency as to where Pages, in particular, are based, in order to help users understand who, exactly, they’re interacting with at any given time.
Back in 2018, Facebook added new information panels on Pages and ads, which make it easier for users to tap through and see essential Page information, like where its admins are based. Facebook took this a step further in April this year, with the addition of location markers on business profile posts, which highlight where the managers of that page or account are primarily located.
The new checking process for high reach profiles adds another element to Facebook’s ongoing transparency efforts, which, ideally, will help to ensure that users are fully aware of who they are engaging with, and who’s content they’re sharing, which could reduce foreign influence in civic engagement.
You can read more about Facebook’s profile ID requirements here.