February 17th, 2012 09:32 AM
SAN FRANCISCO– Facebook on Thursday began testing a way for celebrities, journalists, athletes and others with massive followings to have their identities validated at the globally popular online social network.
“The new process enables people to verify their identities by submitting a government issued ID,” Facebook said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
“Once verified, they’ll also have the option to more prominently display an alternate name (nickname, maiden name, byline, etc.) on their timelines in addition to their real name.”
The validation option was being rolled out as a minor update to the Subscribe feature at Facebook for people with large numbers of followers.
The benefits of confirming people’s identities online have been touted by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s developers conference.
Twitter has long validated accounts of high-profile users of the one-to-many text messaging service as a way to instill confidence in the reliability of “tweets.”