Monday, September 23, 2013

Verification: the new way of class stratification in social media.

I understand that public figures are targets for people who may pretend to be them and usurp their online identity, but in a world where information is currency, are they the only targets ? 

It started with Twitter verification and literally listening to people arguing why they should be verified and the number one reason for their desire to be verified on Twitter was because it looks "cool."

Now Facebook is verifying celebs just like Twitter and they make it a point to have FB founder Mark Zuckerberg's approval signatures and what could be some kind of barcode and a great big check mark followed by a disclaimer that basically says "Verification is not open to the public."

So what this is basically saying is, "This is a private club and ordinary people need not apply." Well considering all of these social media services have enough personal information about it's users anyway, is stating this one select group of people is more susceptible than a scientist, politician, or even more likely, any other human being?

Well the truth is verification for only a select few is in my opinion like telling a person to go sit in the back of the bus if they are not verified. It's special treatment for a select few and a form of class stratification on the internet.

I for one think everyone should be verified, especially if they are not famous because it is the personal information and identity of a private citizen that is more likely going to a target of identity theft than a celebrity who already can afford to have more safeguards placed on their personal information and likely has a means to deal with it faster and prosecute the offender than the person who is not famous. 

Are people really safer because they are not on TV? I don't think so. If anything I believe verification for only a select few is more likely going to cause resentment and turn that check mark into a target for flamers who can make anyone feel worthless in just a few sentences than one's worst bully could ever do in the real world. 

Then the verified complain and feel outrage when someone doesn't kiss their ass and gives them an honest opinion about their latest movie, TV show or best seller in any market. People can be jerks, but when you set yourself on a pedestal to be adored and then show disdain for those who admire you by complaining they need special services that the public is not entitled to then you are kind of setting yourself up to get flamed. 

Most people have a lot more going on in their lives than to focus their energy on the plight of a celebrity who may only be complaining that they're not being treated properly because for the first time maybe someone is reminding them they are only mortal too? 

Verify everyone or no one at all and if the social media companies are going to rub the common cirizen's nose in it just to boost their own profile then they should remember the majority of their users are not famous and were it not for them, they would be out of business. 

Treat everyone equally and with fairness and compassion and you will be adored and appreciated. Treat everyone so that they are made to feel like they are not important and then remember the golden words spoken to Roman leaders when they were celebrated and treated like gods for a day in a triumph. A servant was placed at their side and their job was to whisper in the triumphant's ear over and over again the words, "All Glory Is Fleeting..."

(C) 2013 By Mark Rivera.
All Rights Reserved.

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