Twitter Verification and the Real Identity Issue in Social Media

The Twitter verification process and real identity issues on social networks has come under scrutiny recently by popular technology news site Digital Trends. 

Earlier this month they reported on the Sarah Phillips scandal, where the real identity of this media personality who was writing for ESPN, as well as assuming various aliases and pulling a series of internet scams, is still unkown.

Then, last week Digital Trends had their Twitter verification badge removed because, according to their Twitter account manager, they were no longer advertising with the social network. In an update this week Twitter has explained the badge was removed in error and has been restored it on their account.

Twitter acknowledged:

"As we have said since we first introduced the Verified account process in 2009, deciding who and when to verify is a complicated issue. Our team is continually exploring ways in which to improve the verification process, in a way that works for people, companies & organizations on Twitter. We appreciate your raising the issue.”

The challenge in proving real identity

We don't know how Twitter verifies accounts, but we do know that current methods for verifying real identities online are flawed in that they only prove information about someone, not that a person is who they say they are, like your pasport or driver's licence does for example.

This doesn't work because the information used to validate you, such as your date of birth, address or social security number are many times available online or in various databases, which means others can use your information to impersonate you or commit identity fraud.

miiCard proves true identities online

This is where miiCard is solving the issue of trust in social networks by proving true identity to the level offline photo ID does, with the same traceability, but purely online. By proving "I am who I say I am" with a miiCard an individual can prove, protect and build trust in their online communities. With our recently added social validations feature, users can now connect their Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts to prove they belong to them as identity verified individuals.

It's this kind of third-party, user-centric solution we feel social networks like Twitter could benefit from integrating for their users who want to prove and protect their accounts and build that much needed level of trust that is currently missing from the web.

Social Networking, Online Trust, Twitter Verification
  • "Giving people the power to control their digital identities, at a time when trust and security online is paramount, is very exciting."  

    Cassie Anderson, Marketing VP