Know your Followers: Balancing Anonymity in Social Media

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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]ID-Pal CEO Colum Lyons considers the challenge of balancing anonymity and verification.

Know your Customer or KYC is a term financially regulated companies across multiple industries are very familiar with.

The approval by the Irish Government on the 18th of May 2021 for the integration of the Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill into the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill #OSMRBill, once again brings the topic of anonymity on social media back into the headlines.

The need to verify and identify that your customer is who they claim to be, is key to not only establishing trust between a business and their customer but also to satisfy the KYC obligations the business must comply with.

Verifying and identifying each customer also meets Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements that aim to prevent financial crime by asking customers to show where funds came from – therefore preventing fraud “at source.”

The arrival of Covid-19 accelerated the acceptance of digital-first experiences by consumers. They are now comfortable with verifying their identity digitally for example when opening an account in a bank, credit union or with a third party. Today the use case for identity verification (ID&V) extends way beyond just financial institutions. ID-Pal sees it being used to great effect across diverse industries for example:

  • In the sharing economy to onboard drivers.
  • In education to verify the identity of students remotely.
  • In telecommunications when buying a SIM card.

Extending ID&V to social media will allow not only real people to be invested in the conversation around your business but will also allow:

  • Real information to be shared to drive engagement.
  • Cut out the noise that distracts and deters productivity for your team.

Social media accounts are part of the fabric of people’s lives. The transparency and trust ID&V methods offer are needed here now more than ever to protect the community on these platforms.

However, the right to engage and comment on these platforms and choose anonymity is complex. For some social media users anonymity is essential to their safety and livelihood. And there is a large proportion of social media users that are happy to verify their identity on their profile and still post discriminatory content.

While identity verification for social media would by no means guarantee curbing hate comments and posts, it is one important ingredient as part of an overall transformation needed in how a social media community is managed. This could include the use of volunteer-moderators as seen on Reddit. Or if someone abuses the privilege of anonymity, that user can be quickly and transparently removed, reported or their account is limited in some capacity.

ID&V could be an effective tool in the fight against discrimination. Balancing and blending identity verification features with the need for anonymity is a step in the right direction.

#OSMRBill #socialkyc #kyc #identityverification #socialmedia

For further reference please see this Government Press Release

Contact us today for a live demo of how the ID-Pal service can be easily integrated with your business.

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