While Elon Musk has thrown the Twitter Verified badge into disrepute by turning it into a highly accessible benefit for anyone who chooses the Twitter Blue subscription, Mark Zuckerberk’s company is going in the opposite direction, making use of the Meta Verified badge conditional on showing your real name, verified by company employees.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta co-founder and CEO, announced in February the new paid subscription for Facebook and Instagram users. Inspired by the famous blue badge famously applied to “verified” Twitter accounts, the Meta Verified badge is also a subscription-based benefit, with the distinction promising users better account security and quick access to technical support from the company.
Accessed for $11.99 a month if you subscribe from a desktop, or $15 if you subscribe from an iPhone, the Meta Verified badge would come with a requirement to display the legal name listed in the ID card under the profile name used to register that account. The argument would be that of greater transparency to other users, assuring them that a real person is behind the account they are tracking.
However, while users without notoriety probably wouldn’t have a problem with displaying their real name, the more controversial platform stars and users who would rather hide their real and already proven Meta identity behind a pseudonym are left with only the option of avoiding that badge, or leaving those social media platforms.
For example, Abigail Mac, an OnlyFans creator also active on Facebook/Instagram, has been informed that she cannot receive her Meta Verified membership unless she displays her real name, disclosing all of her activity to her real-life friends, family and neighbors.
The general consensus would seem to be that while Meta may require users to provide their legal name for identity verification, users should not be forced to display it on their public profile if they do not wish to do so. In response, a Meta spokesperson said the rules could be relaxed in the future, but that there were no immediate plans for that.