People who control Facebook pages with major American followers, must now take extra steps to verify their identity, according to an announcement made by the company today. Now, if these managers will continue to post on their pages, they must complete an "authorization process" which includes activating two-factor authentication and verifying which country they are based on.
If a page manager needs to approve their account, they will receive a notification on top of their newsfeed later this month, "said Facebook. They will not be able to post on their page before they complete this process. This information will be added to an upcoming page section called "People who administer this page", which will list which countries these pages manage from. Although this will first appear on pages with a large American audience, it appears that Facebook will eventually roll out this feature on all pages.
When asked how big the pages may be under this category, Facebook refused to comment. "We do not share exact numbers, as bad actors can use it to play the system." A spokesman said. Facebook also said that it would only be to verify the site manager's locations by checking the location on the phone, instead of requiring physical identification as it has with ad sales in some cases.
Facebook rolls out these changes when the company seizes the platform's role in interfering with the 2016 election. Their first change came back in April when the company demanded that politically minded advertisers had to show their identity and location. This recent change has meanwhile been focused on pages, not ads, which are an important part of the disinformation network. While Russia's Internet Research Bureau was able to politically disagree partly by paying $ 100,000 to place political ads on the platform, much of the disinformation came from a number of fake accounts and pages. By requiring the site owners to unmask their location, it is possible that Facebook can close any future interference by foreign groups.
Aside from the Administration Confirmation, other changes will also be made to pages – especially in the Info and Ads section. Users can now find out when a page merges with another page by looking at the story. According to Facebook, Instagram's sister company will expand similar features to extract information about profiles with large fanbases.
"Our goal is to prevent organizations and individuals from creating accounts that mislead people about who they are or what they are doing," Facebook said in a statement. "These updates are part of our continued efforts to increase the authenticity and transparency of Pages on our platform."