Verification and Security in Social Media
July 19, 2018

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No matter the industry, information security and truthfulness are important. But they’re especially hot topics for social media as the industry attempts to improve its global reputation.

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No matter the industry, information security and truthfulness are important. But they’re especially hot topics for social media as the industry attempts to improve its global reputation. WhatsApp is trying to fight misinformation on their app, Twitter is deleting hundreds of thousands of accounts and Instagram is beefing up its verification process.

Woman on phone
WhatsApp trying to fight misinformation

WhatsApp announced it’s adding labels to forwarded messages so users can “better identify rumors, fake news and other false information that often spreads via the messaging app.”

There has been an uptick in violence around the world, especially in India, due to misinformation spread through the app. The app has also taken out ads in Indian newspapers to warn users to be wary of forwarded messages which sometimes seek to foment revenge or create chaos. This new feature will hopefully help users discern truth from fiction.

Twitter deleting accounts

Twitter went on the offensive by deleting accounts they consider to be suspicious. The company says the accounts they’re closing were “created by real people but...cannot confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it.”

This is part of the ongoing effort by the company to “crackdown on fraudulent accounts,” including suspending over 1 million accounts. The goal is to provide a better user experience for those who use the app the way it was intended.

Instagram verification process opening

Instagram’s verification process has been shrouded in secrecy and is one of the most sought-after ‘blue checks’ of all social platforms. There’s even an (often unreliable) black market for verification. Instagram realized the extreme demand for verification, so they’re testing out a process within the app to allow more people to become verified.

Currently only available in certain countries like Australia, there’s a form inside the app to request verification. The feature is still in test mode, but it could roll out worldwide. The verification process and requirements are still the same, including requiring that the account has to be “authentic...for the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”

Verifying facts or user accounts on social media is imperative to ensuring false information doesn’t spread. Services and companies like WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram are trying to make the user experience better by weeding out rumors and removing sources of untrue information. Hopefully this will enable users to trust the platforms again.

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