Facebook ‘delivers’ Jonathan from impostors

Impostors laying claim to the identity of President Goodluck Jonathan on Facebook have suffered a set-back, no thanks to Facebook which recently verified the profile of the President on the social network.

If you are finding it difficult to distinguish the authentic Facebook account of the President from the over 98 profiles bearing the President’s name and photographs, watch out for the social service’s  recently launched verified page’s check mark.

Jonathan now joins public figures such as United States President Barack Obama, and American singer, Lady Gaga among others enjoying the feature.

Facebook says the verified pages belong to a small group of prominent figures such as celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses.

The Facebook’s authenticity check mark helps to shield celebrities around the world from fraudsters prowling around the social network, using their identities.

Once the name of a celebrity or public figure whose profile has been verified is keyed into the search box, a blue check mark would pop up along with the name in the search results and in the timeline.

But surprisingly, the Facebook page of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, with over 191,223 followers has yet to be verified. His Twitter handle, @David _Cameron has since been verified by the microbloging service. Also, the Facebook page of Ghanaian President, John Mahama, who has over 191,223 followers has yet to get a Facebook verification, four weeks after the social service announced the new feature.

Facebook clearly states that it doesn’t provide users with the opportunity to request to get pages verified but that users  can report people who impersonate them on the social service.

“Keep in mind that not all authentic profiles and pages are verified and that you can’t request to have your profile or page verified. You can report fake accounts that are impersonating you, your business or your brand,” it states on its Help Centre.

 If you come across an account that pretends to be you, use your photographs, as avater, you can simply report by going to the users timeline and click on the Report/Block button. Users will have to follow the on-screen direction to file the report.

 Facebook users suffering in the hands of impostors can curtail the activities of fraudsters by  including a link to the page on  their official website such that the plug-ins of the social account they operate are used on such websites. With this, people searching for them on the social media can follow directly from the homepage of the website.

 Just as Facebook now uses the Twitter-style verification, Pinterest, a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections also has a verification feature.

The feature lets users verify that they own the website on their Pinterest profile. To verify your website, visit your Settings page and click on the ‘Verify Website’ button. Currently, Pinterest says it supports top-level domains.

When a website being used on a Pintesrest profile is verified, people will see a red checkmark next to their domain in search results. They will also see the full website URL and checkmark on users’ profile.

Besides, Facebook has also introduced hashtags to improve engagement of users of its service. Just like it operates on Twitter, Hashtags will help users easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public discussions.

 Facebook has said that when tweets and other posts using hashtags are shared on Facebook, those hashtags will be viewable through Facebook.

 Meanwhile, one thing that the use of hashtags may rob Facebook users of some level of privacy which many on the network had hitherto been enjoying. This is because everyone will be able to view user’s comments when hashtags are employed, irrespective of the privacy settings, as the hashtags will string them all together for public view.

by Temitayo Famutimi


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