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Should you be required to provide a verified form of ID to open a social media account?

Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,020

Scope community team

After the abhorrent racist abuse against some of England's Euro 2020 team (BBC) on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram, some people have called for it to become a requirement for people to provide a verified form of ID to open a social media account.

A petition, with over 600,000 signatures at the time of writing this, argues that it should be:
a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID. Where the account belongs to a person under the age of 18 verify the account with the ID of a parent/guardian, to prevent anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs.
Whilst some believe that this could prevent harmful activity online, and increase the chances of those making the hateful comments to be held to account, others have pointed out some potential issues including:
  • not everyone has, or can afford, official ID
  • anonymity can be beneficial to people, such as when they want to ask sensitive or potentially embarrassing questions 
  • online racism, ableism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, and so on, is an indicator of wider societal issues rather than a problem that is confined to social media
I haven't even nearly covered all of the arguments here of course, so I'd encourage you to have a think and do your own research.

As research suggests that online abuse of disabled people is on the rise (The Guardian), I'm interested in hearing your views on this controversial issue!

As always, please remember to keep any debate in the comments civil and respectful. 
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Should you be required to provide a verified form of ID to open a social media account? 9 votes

Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
22%
woodbineEmilyb81 2 votes
No, it shouldn't be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
44%
lisathomas50StellarDuninnMissMarple 4 votes
I'm unsure
33%
mikehughescq66MustangRoss_Scope 3 votes

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,498 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Whilst i am not generally in favour of making anything difficult to use on the internet, I do believe that the time for accountability on social media platforms is long over-due.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    I have issues around this myself because i am not allowed to use social media  in my own name because of a violent ex partner? But i see so many people pretending to be celebrities or scamming happening because people have fake accounts? And not to mention the amount of horrible people out there bullying and making people feel Worthless hiding behind a fake account? Its so strange people are seriously pretending to be someone else? What is the point? No good can come of it? And there should be so much more done about cyber bullying i see that every single day just people seem to be waiting to be horrible to anyone they want in comment sections of news articles etc? On social media? Celebrities get it lots and people seem to think it's ok because they should not be famous if not willing to be talked about and judged negatively?! Ridiculous! 
     I genuinely believe that people should at least be able to prove who they are to the site? Use whatever name they like but people behind say... Facebook? Should be shown something to prove you not up to anything harmful? Same with dating sites! So many unfortunately get into dangerous situations on dating sites because people pretending to be someone else ☹️ people actually have been murdered that way? Sorry i know its all a bit negative but i was literally just thinking about why more isn't done to hold people accountable online! Its scary! We have no idea who we are dealing with! Ans it seems there are some very unstable people out there who don't know they are that way? Very scary to me so i do think people should need to at least be traceable if necessary! 
    👍😎
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,172

    Scope community team

    I'm unsure
    I'm not sure whether it should go as far as ID, but at least a known address or contact number at least so authorities have more information to fall back on compared to what they have at the minute.


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  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Agreed definitely should be something provided as now anyone can fake an account, their age, sex ...if theres rules about ages you can join certain site's what's the point if no checks are done? It is scary how little even the police have access to when it comes to safety online ☹️ anyway have a fab day peeps ☀️😎😅
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Can i please ask if there is a way to delete repeat posts? My phone says it hasn't posted a comment but the next day ive actually posted it several times? Lol sorry if its annoyed anyone! 👍😊
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,172

    Scope community team

    I'm unsure
    If you press the cog in the top right of the post @Emilyb81, the delete button will be there but only for a short time after you make the post. If you don't see it, just tagging in a moderator will suffice and we will be able to remove it for you. Alternatively, you can email [email protected]
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  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,352 Disability Gamechanger
    No, it shouldn't be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    No because in my view there should be a social media site for under age of 18 and should be monitored 24hrs a day 

    Racial abuse and things like that isn't just limited to social media 

    The risk of under 18s been on social media is risk of abuse anyway so a site that is monitored 24hrs a day gives better protection and also makes jobs for people to do 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    @Ross_Scope i tend to have this same problem on a few sites im on? Basically when i click on the cog it doesn't give me the option to delete? Just says cancel or edit? On other pages/sites its the same ... people tell me where delete is but for me its not? I don't know if it's due to me using Chrome? As i keep having issues with different things and people say i should change to Firefox or something else? I don't understand this stuff well but i definitely dont get delete option here when i press cog in first hour after posting just edit or cancel so i guess I will have to ask for them to be deleted instead 👍 just wish I knew why my set up seems to be different?! Thankyou for helping me! 
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Please can someone delete the post i repeated above? @Tori_Scope or @Ross_Scope ?? Thankyou 😊🤗 and sorry if this keeps happening! I will figure it out asap 👍
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    now just edit no cancel....
  • OxonladyOxonlady Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Hi @lisathomas50,
    I hope you and your mother are well. 
    With regards to Social media accounts, I would prefer it if people were asked to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account. This ID would of course not be stored by any company once it's been verified.
    I have had at least two people sending me messages on Facebook and I later found out that they were not who they originally said they were. In one case, the person they impersonated has now actually taken the impostor to court. 
    Now every time I receive a message from someone I don't know well, I wonder if they are genuine. Had their identity been officially checked, there would have been less chance of deception.
    . Social media still needs to be checked and regulated to stop people from posting abusive or inappropriate messages. 

    I'm wondering if anyone is monitoring YouTube, it's been showing some terrible clips recently, such as dog fights, small animals being killed by larger animals, there was even a large dog eating a kitten live on camera. What sort of sick person would film and post that online? If people were checked, maybe they wouldn't dare post such horrible things.
    I know of a lady who's been threatened on Facebook and that's definitely not acceptable. 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,291 Pioneering
    No because in my view there should be a social media site for under age of 18 and should be monitored 24hrs a day 

    Racial abuse and things like that isn't just limited to social media 

    The risk of under 18s been on social media is risk of abuse anyway so a site that is monitored 24hrs a day gives better protection and also makes jobs for people to do 
    Even if that happened, and your disagreeing to ID checks, how do you know someone claiming to be under 18 actually is? 

    Been monitored won’t stop everything. 
  • StellarStellar Member Posts: 14 Listener
    No, it shouldn't be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    people thinking verifying social media accounts ID is a good idea, but its not especially because:

    - many bigots already spread harm with their real name with no consequences
    - it puts LGBTQ+ kids at risk of being outed to anti-LGBT+ family
    - it's classist as many people do not have ID so cannot verify it
    - people with incorrect names on their ID (ie. recently divorced people, trans people, anyone whos had to change names for safety reasons) would have difficulty verifying
    - it makes it harder for disabled kids to find their community as so many are isolated and stuck with unsupportive family
    - it will stop whistleblowers speaking out about corruption and abusive practises
    - it will make it harder for survivors of domestic violence and other crimes to curate an online safe space
    - it can be easily circumvented with a VPN by creating an account in another country
    - social media companies simply cannot be trusted with ID

    Social media platforms need tov actually enforce their policies including banning the fascists.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,020

    Scope community team

    Thanks to everyone who's contributed, I've enjoyed reading all of your thoughts so far. I think some really interesting points have been raised. 

    I'm sorry to hear that you and people you know have been targeted on Facebook @Oxonlady. It's always worth being really careful when talking to people online, especially if they're not someone you know well or perhaps at all. You can report people and content on Facebook if something like that is happening. YouTube does have community guidelines, and also a report function that you can use to flag content you think goes against their policies.

    @Emilyb81 I've removed the duplicate comment for you now :) If you ever want a comment or post of yours to be deleted, please just get in touch with the team and we'd be happy to do that for you. 
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  • OxonladyOxonlady Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Hi @Tori_Scope, thank you very much for the advice, much appreciated. 
  • cazza6565cazza6565 Member Posts: 44 Connected
    on YouTube it has been a requirement to provide ID to watch certain gambling videos. This has been like that for several months. Not all but just certain ones require ID before you can view.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,498 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Isn't it the case that perhaps social media platforms like facebook have become too big and almost impossible to police, with their 2 billion members many of them making multiple hits per day.
    I have in the past reported things to facebook that I thought were just plain wrong only for them to take no action.
    Sadly you cannot uninvent the wheel.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Thankyou @Tori_Scope thats good news it seems to happen quite often gawd knows why i dont have the delete option here or on other sites it simply isnt where it should be? But i will try and be more patient when posting because when it tells me there was a problem and try again i do (repeatedly?) And then like i say the next day or later it shows ive posted it twice at best! So i need to may not trust the error messages and hold back a bit! Honestly i do say this a lot but this forum is teaching me a lot about myself and how to hopefully address certain issues and things i tend to do without realising? So im very grateful! 👍😊 
    thankyou!
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    @cazza6565 👍😊 i think thats good YouTube are doing that! Its great they are taking some more responsibility about gambling 😎
    However they don't seem to do much about horrible, bullying type comments i used to see regularly on there under music videos etc but unfortunately it seems to be the same on so many sites i have reported many a nasty comment in the past only to then find out that i myself have had my comments removed or my account blocked stating my comments have been reported and breach their rules! So basically they leave all the nasty negative stuff alone and get rid of the posts telling them its not ok? I dont believe they even read the comments so i have had to try and stop going into comments sections for my own sanity because it sure can make me feel less than spiritual at times! ☹️ 
    Actually i think that Would be a job i would enjoy doing? Or a job id feel is actually helpful? I have no idea what that would be called? Someone who reviews complaints online about bullying etc and actually reads them?! 
    I have very little motivation in general but this subject makes me really wish i could be of use in trying to challenge this whole narrative that you are entitled to say whatever you want to whoever you want and people need to deal with it and also really believe if you would not say it to someone in person then you should not be saying it online? And lastly if someone was saying the same things to a loved one of theirs would it be acceptable? Probably not! Right thats my soap box launched for the evening 🤦🏻🤷🏻😂 sorry peeps on one of my rants again! If anyone does know what Kind of work that would be? Job title or what Sort of qualifications someone would need then please let me know 👍🤞😊🤗 on that note il shut my hole for now haha xx
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    @woodbine i have too reported something to Facebook in the past involving my 14 year old daughter (at the time) having her holiday photos in a swimming costume cropped and zoomed etc and making fun of her body shape posting all over their Facebook pages! Her supposed friends? And Facebook wouldn't even take the photos down?! Or do anything about the girls posting it all? So terrible!  I have also reported many a fake page before and again they do naff all ☹️ i understand its a huge job but they really should take more responsibility for what they allow people to post and do in general on there its main reason i havent used my Facebook in years its just not healthy for me to be on there 👍☹️ 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,020

    Scope community team

    Many of them will be called moderators or admins, or things along those lines @Emilyb81 :) Plenty of forums, and similar platforms, will use volunteer moderators, so it could be worth having a look around to see if you could get any experience under your belt through volunteering online if that's something you're interested in? 
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  • StellarStellar Member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited July 20
    No, it shouldn't be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    woodbine said:
    Isn't it the case that perhaps social media platforms like facebook have become too big and almost impossible to police, with their 2 billion members many of them making multiple hits per day.
    I have in the past reported things to facebook that I thought were just plain wrong only for them to take no action.
    Sadly you cannot uninvent the wheel.
    nope, if social media platforms care about online safety they would police things properly and as it is many of them covertly support fascism and other movements that lead to harm online. thats what happens when there arent legal requirements to do so. putting ID in place as a verification requirement lets these corporations off the hook.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,498 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Stellar said:
    woodbine said:
    Isn't it the case that perhaps social media platforms like facebook have become too big and almost impossible to police, with their 2 billion members many of them making multiple hits per day.
    I have in the past reported things to facebook that I thought were just plain wrong only for them to take no action.
    Sadly you cannot uninvent the wheel.
    nope, if social media platforms care about online safety they would police things properly and as it is many of them covertly support fascism and other movements that lead to harm online. thats what happens when there arent legal requirements to do so. putting ID in place as a verification requirement lets these corporations off the hook.
    I'm not sure where you get the idea that social media platforms covertly support facism?
    Thats one I would like to see supported with evidence.
    It's like all things internet, it has good bits and bad bits but again as I said you can't uninvent the wheel.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • Emilyb81Emilyb81 Member Posts: 450 Pioneering
    Yes, it should be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    Coolio thankyou @Tori_Scope i will seriously think about that because i am wasting my life doing nothing really mainly due to my health problems but there must be a way round that i mean surely people with mental and or physical illness are able to volunteer etc! Doing nothing or believing i cant do anything makes me feel so much worse in every way! So onwards and upwards! The fact i am even able to consider or be interested in working is huge!   I genuinely havent considered having any kind if job or career since i became more poorly! So this is really positive to focus on for me! Thankyou 👍😊🌞 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Posts: 4,352 Disability Gamechanger
    No, it shouldn't be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    @MarkN88 people will use fake id anyway but if they are under 18 and only a forum without private messaging being monitored 24hrs so that phone numbers and addresses can't be exchanged that wil be safer than hoing on Facebook and messenger  

    On this forum there is a private message function where phone numbers and addresses can be given no one realy knows what people are like  so realy it's no safer than Facebook in thst context 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 1,291 Pioneering
    @MarkN88 people will use fake id anyway but if they are under 18 and only a forum without private messaging being monitored 24hrs so that phone numbers and addresses can't be exchanged that wil be safer than hoing on Facebook and messenger  

    On this forum there is a private message function where phone numbers and addresses can be given no one realy knows what people are like  so realy it's no safer than Facebook in thst context 
    Very true, but at the moment, what would be the point in creating somewhere, where there is no facility to interact? People will just use what’s available. 

    So in my opinion it’s better to come up with solutions for the current social media than come up with new platforms people won’t use whilst others are available. 
  • StellarStellar Member Posts: 14 Listener
    edited July 21
    No, it shouldn't be required for people to provide a verified form of ID in order to open a social media account
    woodbine said:
    Stellar said:
    woodbine said:
    Isn't it the case that perhaps social media platforms like facebook have become too big and almost impossible to police, with their 2 billion members many of them making multiple hits per day.
    I have in the past reported things to facebook that I thought were just plain wrong only for them to take no action.
    Sadly you cannot uninvent the wheel.
    nope, if social media platforms care about online safety they would police things properly and as it is many of them covertly support fascism and other movements that lead to harm online. thats what happens when there arent legal requirements to do so. putting ID in place as a verification requirement lets these corporations off the hook.
    I'm not sure where you get the idea that social media platforms covertly support facism?
    Thats one I would like to see supported with evidence.
    It's like all things internet, it has good bits and bad bits but again as I said you can't uninvent the wheel.
    to give one examples about twitter - that site has a probem with terfs that harrass and troll trans people (including from many sock accounts) that are never banned - which is very troubling as many of them are UK political and media figures like jess phillips and j k rowling. terfs are fascists. this is despite the fact transphobia is against twitter rules yet trans people are often banned for defending themselves. 

     another example - due to germany's laws, anyone located in germany has to have many neo-nazi accounts automatically blocked. this by extension, also includes many US Republican senators. if such a restriction was applied worldwide that site would become a lot safer, yet because its not legally required, twitter won't.

    both the above examples are condoning fascism. if you do not explicitly oppose fascism (ie. by banning it and deplatforming fascists promptly), you are condoning it. hence social media platforms are pro-fascist because most do not do this.

    notice how many of these people use their real name? note that even if an ID verification law was in place they'd still be allowed to spread such utter bile and hatred? because social media sites don't care about banning fascists? that's why ID verification will not work and will only shut out the most vulnerable from accessing onlne safe spaces.

    The wheel can be reinvented in the context of social media and arguing otherwise is disingenuous.

    i could provide evidence for you but it's already out there if you look for it yourself.
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