Will the Real You Please Stand Up

impersonatorsTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo – the list goes on of social media profiles you can create for that two way interaction with followers, fans, family and friends. But how do we know you are who you say you are?  Am I really tweeting with a celebrity or is it an impersonator?

To combat this problem, Twitter has launched its first phase of Verified Accounts. They are beta testing this new feature to determine the authenticity with well-known people who have been impersonated or experienced identity confusion.  According to Twitter’s help page for verified accounts,

“With this feature, you can easily see which accounts we know are ‘real’ and authentic. That means we’ve been in contact with the person or entity the account is representing and verified that it is approved. (This does not mean we have verified who, exactly, is writing the tweets.)”

This also does not mean that accounts without the ‘Verified Account’ badge are fake. The vast majority of accounts on the system are not impersonators, and we don’t have the ability to check 100% of them. For now, we’ve only verified a handful of accounts to help with cases of mistaken identity or impersonation.”

This is in the very early stages but we will be seeing verified badges on profiles. Companies will have to wait for their verified badge as the feature is only for individuals.

This comes on the heels of another social media profile giant, Facebook’s announcement of vanity URLs.  On 6/13/09 at 12:01am EDT vanity URLs will be available for individual profiles and some fan pages. Most fan pages will have to wait until 6/28/09 to claim theirs if they have fewer than 1000 fans.  Facebook has taken steps to prevent an impostor from obtaining vanity URLs for profiles they are not administrators for but, nothing is hackproof.

Has our account been verified?  Know of any accounts verified?  Will you be  one of many at 12:01am on Facebook to get your vanity URL?

Photo credit Tristan Brand