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Blue ticks for social media handles sold on private marketplaces: Report

Facebook and Instagram state that an account must be authentic, notable, complete and unique in order to be verified.

January 30, 2021 / 03:38 PM IST
Reuters

Reuters

Blue ticks, or indicators of verified social media accounts, are being sold on private marketplaces for Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh in India.

The fee for verified accounts is higher for users in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, according to an investigation by The Economic Times.

Sites like mpsocial.com, blackhatworld.com and swapd.co had posts from users offering verification services for a steep price, the report said.

Many digital marketing agencies also offer this service, the report added.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

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Facebook, Twitter and Instagram typically give "blue ticks" or verified badges to social media handles of government organisations, companies, celebrities, business leaders, news organisations, politicians and other influential people and entities.

"The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. To receive the blue badge, your account must be authentic, notable, and active," the micro-blogging platforms say in its FAQ section.

Facebook and Instagram state that an account must be authentic, notable, complete and unique in order to be verified.

The individuals and agencies offering the verification service for a fee use social media automation tools to boost a user's follower count through bots, the paper reported. They then help publish sponsored posts from publications on the user's account to make it seem "notable".

Industry experts told the paper that these individuals and agencies likely receive at least 1 million annual queries for purchasing a blue tick, which pegs the fake verification industry's size at Rs 3,000 crore in India.

The number is estimated to increase after Twitter resumes its verification process, which it had paused in 2017.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 30, 2021 03:38 pm

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