Have you ever wondered if that Facebook page with posts by Tom Hanks is really by Tom Hanks or just some random guy from Nebraska impersonating Tom Hanks? Now you can know. Facebook just unveiled its version of Verified Pages.
Verified Pages are designed to “help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook.” These pages are designated by a small, blue check mark next to the individual’s name on their timeline as shown here. This verified check mark will also been seen in search results and in all other places on Facebook. Note in the image here there are four options for Tom Hanks profiles. Only one is now verified by Facebook as the official Tom Hanks page.
Facebook has stated that they have verified “profiles or Pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be.” However, they do not reveal how they go about choosing those individuals or business they wish to verify. Facebook does however say there is no way to request that your page or profile be verified. They will come to you when they deem it appropriate to verify your identity.
The move to Verified Pages seems to be just another step in Facebook’s attempt to become a leading information source for the public. Last year, Facebook launched a subscription feature that made it possible for people to follow others without having to create a mutual friendship. Facebook has been encouraging media outlets to use Facebook as an outlet for disseminating news much as they use Twitter. Perhaps that’s why their Verified Pages icon is so similar to Twitter’s.