Well, it’s finally happened: Facebook has began to roll out verified Facebook Business Timelines as well as Facebook Pages as of May 29th 2013.
Up until now, basically anyone could create a Facebook Page for any individual they wanted, even if they didn’t own the rights to that persons name. There was also very little you can do about it.
I’m guessing what caused some of the pressure to be put onto Facebook to make these changes was the recent “fake Sandyhook profiles” that were being created in an effort to gain likes and popularity. This particular behavior really should not be tolerated and I am glad that Facebook is doing something about it.
The complaints weren’t just about that either. Many celebs were reporting that fake personal Facebook Profile and Timeline pages were being made in their names! This only bled the brand right out of them but caused a loss of revenue with each day it remains in existence.
Today we’re launching verified Pages to help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook. Verified Pages have a small, blue check mark beside their name on timelines, in search results, and elsewhere on Facebook. Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences. This update is rolling out to profiles as well.
Learn more about verified Pages and profiles in the Help Center. Facebook proactively verifies authentic Pages and profiles, but if you believe that you’re being impersonated you can always report a fake account.
Even with this policy only being 1 day old, we are already seeing a number of Facebook Pages and Timelines that have received verification from the gods at Facebook:
A quick search for “lil wayne” reveals that he has the coveted check mark next to his name.
The international verification symbol of Facebook
Searching a little deeper for one of my heroes, Bill Gates, we see that he has a check mark as well. Look closer and you will still see some unverified Bill Gates pages that have not been deleted.
Will the real Bill Gates please stand up
Navigate on over to his Facebook Timeline and the check sites proudly atop his profile.
This is a huge move by Facebook to punish the scammers on Facebook. It’s really been a long time coming. Facebook is getting huge with the 40-59 female demographic, and those are our moms – we don’t need them getting duped.
What else does the check bring to the table?
If you do manage to be lucky enough to get the verification check on your Facebook Timeline or Profile, it can bring a lot more then an 8×8 pixel image.
This check will bring social proof to your page. Yes, having that check on your Facebook profile will show your audience and prospective users that you are “the real deal.”
So how can I report a fake account?
I’m really glad you asked.
You’ve actually always been able to report a fake account.
Simply locate this button on the persons timeline that you wish to report:
Click on “report” then follow the instructions from there.
For the record Facebook does not allow accounts that:
pretend to be you
use photos that belong to someone else (like yours)
use a fake name (you must use your real name, if you do not you could have your account deleted)
or anything else like that
Facebook won’t automatically delete a page that you report. Not only is there a moderation process, there is usually a threshold of amount of users needed to report a page for it to be deleted.
Update June 6th 2013
Well, it’s been a little over a week now, and we still aren’t seeing a ton of Facebook Pages getting verified.
Big brands are definitely first in line for Facebook Page verification. Something tells me that this is a manual process, and there is nothing automated about it. I have a feeling there is a room full of Facebook interns somewhere calling up large enterprises asking for them to verify ownership of the page. Who knows.
Really weird things are happening, take this situation. The “main” Motorola Facebook Page has not been verified, yet Motorola Brasil has been. One might think that certain countries are first in line.
Motorola’s main page is not verified, but their Brazilian page is.
Both Gucci and Gucci Mane are verified
Doing a search for “Moz” showed me that the top SEO name brand has not been verified, but the browser “Mozilla” has been.
Facebook must love HTC, because they have been verified for days.
We are going to continue to track and take notice of any new findings that we come across in the Facebook verification world. If anyone has found any smaller businesses or entities that have been verified, please let us know!
Hello I'm Patrick Coombe and I'm the CEO and Founder of Elite Strategies, an agency I started in 2009. One of the main reasons I love blogging about SEO is the research it takes to come up with the posts. It allows me to not only write about what I love, but to learn more about the industry in the process. I hope you enjoyed this post, if you did consider sharing it or even better linking to it!
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