The “Verified” labels popping up all over the Internet are a nice idea in theory, but you still have to do the verification work.
Elon Musk is one of the most followed people in the world, especially on social networks. However, those who have recently looked for the Facebook page in his name may have had a strange surprise; not only was a fake page with his name created on the network… but Facebook Meta even classified it as a page “verified”.
As a reminder, the “Verified” label is a trust mark supposed to fight against disinformation. It takes the form of a mark directly affixed by his troops to “confirm that the page or profile in question corresponds to an authentic presence of the public figure in question“. The firm goes even further: “If the badge is present, we have confirmed that this page belongs to the person in question”, Can we read on the documentation official. Whoops !
The perfect Trojan for a crypto scam
The usurper, however, took some precautions. At the bottom of the description, there is even an explicit mention “This is a fanpage”. But the desire to deceive was nonetheless manifest, as evidenced by the URL of the page (ElonMuskoffici). Yet despite these data and this Very suspicious truncated URL, Facebook troops still found a way to “verify” that it was indeed the true Elon Musk.
Since, The Verge conducted his little investigation on this now deleted page. They noticed that it was initially created in Egypt in 2019. It then changed its name several times, before adopting that of the founder of Tesla on October 17. A set of publicly accessible indices, and to which Facebook obviously had access.
A particularly problematic blunder, knowing that the usurper took the opportunity to mount a good old cryptocurrency scam. Engadget thus spotted a message posted by the account which promised to “multiply” all the bitcoins sent to a certain address. An obvious choice, knowing the real Musk’s love for cryptocurrency. In the end, it turned out to be a laughable, house-sized scam for web regulars; on the other hand, this kind of scheme is to be taken very seriously, because it can wreak havoc on Internet users less comfortable with the Internet.
Check the checks?
Especially since the slightest word published by this tech guru will inevitably have a phenomenal impact; for example, he is followed by more than 60 million people on Twitter alone. The page in question would thus have succeeded in deceiving many people. Further proof that the general public pays attention to these acronyms. They are therefore anything but anecdotal, and if Facebook wanted to put this system in place, it is also its responsibility to ensure its reliability.
It remains to be seen how this account could have been verified. Usually the process starts with a form fill . But at the time of this writing, the page in question is unavailable. This suggests that it could be a flaw in the verification process, but Facebook has neither confirmed nor denied these assumptions. Let’s just hope that the platform will be more vigilant in the future, when it is already singled out on the issue of disinformation. The last thing Mark Zuckerberg would need is another scandal before his famous Metaverse arrives.