Facebook introduces verified pages at long last

Facebook has announced the launch of verified pages for celebrities to combat the number of fake sites on the social network.

The verified pages will be marked with a small blue tick on timelines and in search results.

A post on the website said: “We’re launching verified pages to help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook.

“Verified pages have a small, blue check mark beside their name on timelines, in search results and elsewhere on Facebook.”

The move to ensure all users are authentic follows microblogging website Twitter, which already shows a small blue tick to indicate the person who has opened the account is legitimate.

Facebook clarified the pages would belong to a “small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences”.

Last year, company filings for Facebook revealed there were 83 million fake Facebook profiles, which was nearly 10% of the 955 million Facebook accounts.

When you search for David Beckham, over 18 profiles come up with a picture of the footballer and only now there is a verification tick can you see which is the original one.

As well as jeopardising the confidence people have in Facebook, the fake accounts also affect the ability to serve targeted adverts on the site, which has a direct influence on share prices and investment.

The move is being seen as an attempt by Facebook to become a channel for celebrities and encourage big names to use the site as a voice in a way that they already do on Twitter.

Verification will also give readers greater confidence in the posts from journalistic sources, so they can use Facebook to follow current affairs as well as a tool to connect with people they already know.

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