Social media giant, Facebook, made a major blunder after verifying an Elon Musk fan page as his official page and gave it the much-coveted blue tick, The Verge reported. After the incident was reported in the media, the page has become unavailable.
Given the sheer number of imposters on social media, platforms have introduced a verification badge to help users identify individuals and brands. Twitter was the first major platform to introduce this feature in 2009, which Facebook, YouTube, and others began implementing over the years as well. However, the verification processes are riddled with issues, prompting Twitter to stop the service in 2017, only to be resumed earlier this year, The Verge reported.
While we know Facebook is not an example of a 'perfect company', the recent incident is quite hilarious. To start off with, the page had just 10 posts dating only as far as October 21 of this year. The page had an impressive 153,000 followers but nothing close to the almost 62 million that Musk has on Twitter. If this did not raise any alarm bells during the verification process, the 'About' section of the page, clearly stated that it was a Fan Page, which was uploading tweets from Musk.
Interestingly, in 2018, Facebook had rolled out a feature called Page Transparency to let its users know who were the people behind the Pages, where they were based, any name changes among other details associated with the Page.
The verified page in question went through a complete change, starting from its date of creation in 2019 as Kizito Gavin, a professional soccer player from Uganda, and a series of other name changes and personas before settling on Elon Musk, again as recently as a fortnight ago on October 17, this year, The Verge reported.
All throughout, the Page has been managed from Egypt, a country Musk has been invited to visit last year. The URL or link that the page used was read as https://www.facebook.com/ElonMuskoffici, which is something Musk or his public relations office would be keener on completing, if they were to launch a new Page.
The most surprising bit, however, is how the Page received an official tick from Facebook. As per its own policies, one needs to upload an official government authorized document such as a driver's license or passport, records of tax filing, or utility bills as part of the verification process. We have contacted the company to know how the verification process was completed in this case and will update this piece when a comment is received.
Engadget reported that the page also had an 11th post which was a phony Bitcoin giveaway. But the post was then removed and the Page, itself is now unavailable. It is unclear whether Facebook has pulled the page down or its creators have unpublished it.