Facebook’s Response to Inauthentic Activity on Profiles: Show Your ID

The social network took similar steps with page admins in 2018

Distribution of posts will be reduced for people who fail to comply RichLegg/iStock

If posts from your Facebook profile are generating a lot of reach, you might want to have your identification handy.

The social network said late Thursday that it will extend its ID verification process to some profiles in the U.S. with large audiences.

Facebook began verifying the identities of administrators of pages with large followings in August 2018, requiring them to secure their accounts with two-factor authentication and confirm their primary country locations.

Product managers Anita Joseph and Michele Paselli said in a Newsroom post late Thursday that the idea is to thwart inauthentic behavior and help ensure that content people see on the social network is real, coming from real people.

They wrote, “Moving forward, we will verify the identity of people who have a pattern of inauthentic behavior on Facebook and whose posts start to rapidly go viral in the U.S. We want people to feel confident that they understand who’s behind the content they’re seeing on Facebook, and this is particularly important when it comes to content that’s reaching a lot of people … This verification process is part of our ongoing efforts to create greater accountability on Facebook and improve people’s experiences on our applications.”

If requests to verify ID are not complied with, or the ID provided does not match the linked Facebook account, distribution on posts will be reduced.

And if the person in question is posting as a page admin, he or she will need to complete the social network’s Page Publishing Authorization process before further posts on the page are permitted.

Facebook said IDs will be stored securely and not shared on profiles.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.