The Case for Mandatory Profile Verification to Build Trust and Credibility on Social Networks

Posted on by James Mawhinney, founder and CEO of

Since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas in 2023, misinformation and disinformation has increased rapidly across major social platforms. Sadly, opportunism often follows tragedy, and bad actors are eager to distort the public’s view of what’s really happening. This creates great challenges for not only media consumers, but media-oriented professionals in PR and reputation management. The latter need to remain vigilant to verify the information they amplify—and protect clients from impersonation and misattribution in a world of deepfakes and instant virality.

When a trending news story is continually being updated and expanded, even trusted media outlets can repeat bad information before properly vetting it. And the tragedy in the Middle East has only called attention to the vulnerabilities of social media platforms. They are easily exploited by those who profit or gain influence by spreading misinformation.

How can we break this toxic cycle of distrust and degradation of credibility on social networks? Profile verification is an inevitable solution. It is a path which regulators chart as they seek to restore trust in the platforms used by billions for information. We’ve known the risks of anonymity for years, but the harm caused by fake profiles, not just in terms of misinformation but also cyberbullying, means social networks are nearing a day of reckoning—a day where all profiles will need to be fully verified.

To read the full column, head to CM sister pub PRNEWS.


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