Wanted: A KYC for social media

  • N Madhavan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2014 23:00 IST

To prevent combat terrorism and money laundering, financial authorities worldwide implement Know Your Customer (KYC) norms that have become a pain for consumers but makes things slightly easier for authorities.

I am beginning to see a case for a similar check on social media sites. It is true that sites like Facebook and Twitter provide glorious opportunities for self-expression. Some of this happens in anonymity. Anonymous expression is great when someone is combating corruption by leaking out critical details, or when powerful people are targeted through some satire or lampooning. But things get murky when some fake handles (identities) surface.

Twitter has seen a lot of “trolls” — an urban slang word used to describe those who harass people online through rude remarks and abuse. Facebook has a lot of fake profiles, some of which are used to tarnish the image of people, especially women.

On LinkedIn, the professional networking site, dubious handles try to connect on some pretext and then try to sell stuff.

Now, Twitter has verified accounts (I have one) that usually help identify professionals or personalities or celebrities of some standing. It is time this privilege was extended to all who are genuine — maybe as a paid service. Other social sites can also consider similar services.

This can help genuine people link with others and filter out riff-raffs or ill-intentioned people.

also read

Air pollution: China on track but Delhi still on a death wish every Diwali
Show comments