Facebook has unveiled an authenticated account system which will seek to verify profiles of celebrities and popular figures.
A company spokesperson said that the feature, which has begun its testing phase, will target accounts which currently have a large number of subscribers. Account owners can authenticate their identities by submitting a government issued ID.
In addition to verifying the authenticity of the account, the feature will also add a number of new profile and name display options for celebrity accounts.
“Once verified, they’ll also have the option to more prominently display an alternate name (nickname, maiden name, byline, etc.) on their timelines in addition to their real name,” the spokesperson said. “This update makes it even easier for subscribers to find and keep up with journalists, celebrities and other public figures they want to connect to.”
The issue of account verification on social networking services came to a head earlier this year when a Twitter account claiming to belong to Wendi Deng was marked by the company as authenticated.
Though the owner of the account quickly admitted that the profile was a satirical work, fallout from the incident lead experts to question the reliability of authenticated accounts.
Celebrity accounts have long been a popular target for social networking scams and attacks. Hackers have sought to take control of the accounts to spread spam messages and embarrass social networking firms.