Steemit Account Verification - Verifying Third Party Social Network Accounts and Websites

in #steemit5 years ago

Steemit Account Verification Proposal

The Need for Account Verification

Have you ever read a post and wanted to learn more about the author and their background?

Currently you must scour through the author's blog to see if they have written an 'introduceyourself' post, often times leaving you empty handed. A simple account verification system that allows users to link their steemit account with other social networking accounts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...) as well as their personal websites would alleviate this issue and also help to promote steemit through other social networking platforms.

Originally I was going to attempt to create such a system and integrate it with steemit; however, I simply don't have the time and thus I am sharing the idea with the community on the chance that someone else may wish to do so.

The Design

When viewing an author's page a verifications tab would be added below their user name. Clicking on this link would either take you to a page displaying the users verified accounts and websites, or if you are logged in it will take you to a page where you can update your own verifications. See below...

Above: All users visiting the verification page are now able to navigate directly to the author's other social networking pages and personal websites in order to obtain a better picture of the author.

Above: The logged in user can add new accounts and websites as well as update existing verifications.

How Would Verification Work?

Adding/Updating a Social Network Account verification

The user should be taken to a page or be presented with a modal overlay that outlines the process for verifying the account for the specific network in question. The most effective way to verify a third party account is to have the user make a post that verifies their steemit user name. For example the post might read:

Verifying my account @mynameisbrian on Come join me!

The exact format for this post should be dictated by the system, or added directly by the system with the users permission. Once the post has been added the system should 1) verify the presence of the post, and 2) verify that the user name included in the post matches that of the logged in steemit user.

Account verifications serve 2 purposes, they allow steemit users to learn more about the author and they promote steemit through the user's social connections on other networks.

Adding/Updating a Website verification

The process for verifying a website would be similar to verifying an account, but instead of a post a meta tag or file could be added to the site indicating that it belongs to the author. There are many possible ways to verify a website.

A benefit of website verifications is that the user could verify that they are in fact the owner of content they are posting on steemit to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

Just an idea

That is the basic idea I had for an account verification system integrated within Obviously there are many details that are not entirely worked out such as how a user's verified accounts and sites should be tracked and stored. If the system were to be integrated directly into the website writing the verifications as meta data within the user's account would be a possibility, or perhaps each record of a verification could be saved as a blog post. If the system is completely external some sort of database would be required to ensure reliability as performing verifications in real-time is not feasible given limitations in the api's of other social networks.

So what are your thoughts on this idea?

Would it be beneficial to the user experience and help to promote steemit?

If anyone is interested in taking on the project and would like to discuss please feel free to get in touch.


It is sorely needed. It must be designed in a way which cannot be easily misused or tricked by those with malicious intent. Adding links to the user's hompage of other social network sites is great (and should be part of a larger profile page each user should have). Automated verification, where the user post's a specific message, which then is picked up by the verification engine is both non-intrusive and can be automated for less overall impact and delay.

But let's not go down any path where users must provide login information for those other sites or have to grant permissions to post content on their behalf. Not recommended for obvious reasons.

I would prefer that verifications could remain private, if someone preferred. While I don't really hide my identification, I do work from a couple different names depending on what I'm doing.

Verifying any site or account would be completely optional. I don't really see much of a use case for verifying an account and not making the information public.

well, maybe you dont want people know your real name? once you link your facebook account everybody knows how you are ..

doing a verficiation through facebook or other social media accounts is ok for me. but steemit could only display

Twitter: Verified

without any username or names visible.

I don't get why everybody wants us to make our real name available to anybody on the web.

remember NSA, snowden. let's keep things private if people wish to do so

If i was an ex-convict and facing life without parole I would love a website where I could see who has a lot of Steem readily available for sale . . .

Since I have nothing to lose, why would I not try and pay that persons home a visit while the owner and family were home . . .

Plus the fact I have absolutely no doubt if the FBI or CIA or NSA or any other governmental acronym soup agency wanted to find me they would not care what name or system I was using to hide my identity : )

/ hugz ; )

Estimated Account Value: $262. I wouldn't worry too much about it :)

But you bring up good points. Thanks for sharing them.

Good luck with your ventures , I was just voicing an opinion was all ; but those with a lot of Steem I am sure they want five billion people being able to look them up . . .

I wish I was that special.

It's a good idea, the WeChat and QQ must be in it.

I have mixed feelings about this. I do see value in a reputation system, and I see how sock puppets can be used for fraud and manipulation. However I also value privacy, and my online behavior is very similar to what @crok described.

I hate all the obstacles being put into place to equate online identities with real world ID - even signing up on steemit [in general] requires another ID like facebook. Then there's the whole 2-factor identification requirement becoming more dominant. Time was you could easily create an anonymous email account, now it's much harder.

And as one posts, blogs, buys and spends time online anonymity pretty much goes out the window, as it becomes easier to profile who people are from their habits.

For those who think "I've got nothing to hide, I'm not doing anything criminal or that I care others know about" all I can say is you're ignorance may be bliss but all it takes to turn that bliss into a living hell is to become the object of a stalker, psychopath or someone that sees an advantage of using your real world identity. If or when that happens you will reflect on how you got into that situation and what you could've done to prevent all that turmoil. As @dantheman once said, once lost privacy is very difficult to regain. I bet he thought about that a lot in light of Satoshi Nakamoto and others who's real identity remains hidden.

Perhaps your need or desire for privacy is minimal now, but will that always be the case? If you give it away so freely now will you ever be able to get it back? Identity theft is real and very damaging. I believe people should think about that far more than they do.

I don't like the trends I see that impact freedom, and without privacy freedom is compromised. Yet I don't see the trend slowing down, I see it increasing. Will we all end up wearing totally transparent clothing too?

People might not have anything to hide todaY but laws can change and then? Also the law enforcement agencies aren't the only people who collect dossiers. People need to realize that people are targeted by police and criminals. A Steemit account which gets too big, too popular, makes too much money, would become attractive to organized criminals.

I came across this post late. But wouldn't this pave the way for trolls, doxxers, taxation, stalkers, or other awful people, to harass steemit users?

Quite often, people pay attention to the "Good" in things, without spending enough time to consider how they can be abused.

I'm someone who might have only a "1" beside my verification. As long as someone legitimate vouches for me, that should be enough.

I don't think spreading your online life in the form of a list is the way to go.

Instead, having respected people in the community be able to verify or vouch for you is quite enough.

I don't have a twitter, nor a facebook. If I did, I surely wouldn't tie those to my account here.

You have the right idea, just the wrong execution. I see @ned has made your method now as official Github Issue #355

Please take my comments into consideration and look at it from outside the box on possible abuse cases.

It might do more harm than good in many situations.


I agree with you that sometimes it is a pain to find the introduction post of a user.

I would propose something different, if users could pin some of their post, so they are basically always displayed if you got to a "aboutme" menu. than it would be great.

under the aboutme menu we could add your facebook and other account for verification.

While i dont think we need account verification yet, if ebay started governing their site this early, they would never become that billion dollar company they are now.

you need a bit of a wild wild west gold rush mentality to push the site to a tipping point, so at the moment i am again any verification systems !!

I am me on Steemit , on Facebook I am Ross , Pintrest I am John and on Twitter I am Mark . . .

Here I am me ; I need no clear identity except my Steemit footprint by my actions and interactions. No one needs to know exactly who I am to hear my tiny squeaking voice over the noise of the internet ! ! !

None of any of this needs to get confusing because I never use my real identity online, ever. In fact I have at least three Twitter accounts in different names and at least ; I forget well over five or seven Facebook accounts.

I forget since I never use them after I finished the missions I set them up for but for various reasons I have created no less than well over one hundred email accounts for various reasons. That is one of the things people do in cyberspace, create things they feel they need at the time and can do . . .

Of course knowing I was never likely to noteworthy on Steemit I used my real identity for my Facebook signup; thinking it would not ever be revealed openly : )

/ hugz ; )

And; if I ever feel someone really needs to truly know who I actually am, I will send them one dollar via Paypal. Plus I have at least three other ways to prove who I really am should someone really need that confirmation . . .

Just my opinion about someones real identity.

I fully expect there are many other users just like you, but there are also users like me who don't really care. Here is my website for the world to see...

I like what you are saying ; but when I drive I wear a seat-belt , not because it is the law but because I am safer with one on.

Personally I am the most boring person on the planet but that does not mean I want anyone to start profiling me and cloning my identity. It is probably 99 % safe to not wear a seatbelt , but that one unexpected crash will mean a world of hurt.

Someone only has to see me online as an easy mark and decide my identify might be useful for them to open up some crazy bank account or maybe buy disposable mobile cell phones.

Putting your life out online is to me the same as saying well yes there is thunder and lightning but I will be fine walking in the rain with my umbrella. After all Benjamin Franklin got away without injury flying a silly kite ! ! !

Maybe I am to old to think nothing bad can ever happen to me : )

/ hugz ; )

Ask those who have been the victim of identity theft how much they enjoyed the experience . . .

Sometimes I say f#$% it and don't wear a seatbelt.

And that is how the Army gets young soldiers; young people just think nothing bad can happen to them that is how you convince young people to walk around land mines and charge machine gun positions.

Young people just rarely ever stop to consider that sometimes bad things can just occur. After all most young people have been protected 75% or more of their life, then sometimes they find out they are not immortal unfortunately : )

/ hugz ; )

When i feel like saying f#$% it I choose to spit on the side walk to rebel against the injustices of the law, not try and do things that could easily paralyze me . . .

That was a joke. I'm a father and the only time I don't wear my seatbelt is when I'm driving 5 mph in our community with my boy at the steering wheel.

Apologies as an ex-paramedic I have an unusual perspective of what happens when soft flesh interacts forcibly with hard metal . . .

Call it decades of watching young silly peoples actions and inactions...

Some jobs and websites demand your social security number. Most people would give their social security number to Facebook. People who don't are not wrong not to do so.

Exactly. There should be ways to verify which are private. Verification isn't the same as being pubic. You don't need to go public to verify yourself to me as long as there is some automated process which allows you to verify.

Since I'm not a stalker or interested in harassing people, or in digging on people, I don't really care to know most people's personally identifying information. Just like I don't ask for people's social security numbers, and recognize the danger in giving it. But you need to be verified by some means, and once verified by those means, it should stick to your profile, even if I can never find out who you are.

I get spam emails such as send password or social number or we will unregister your site or whatever. Personally no one needs to know anyones real identity, this is not a bank lol. And if people really need to verify a real identify there are other places on the internet where peoples real identities can be accurately determined...

I myself met my lady online and after months I actually sent her my college login since the most she could ever do was unenrol me in some course, but I had changed any sensitive information. Once we slowly started showing trust the relationship developed further...

It would be easy to just tell college my account had been hacked and reenroll in whatever subject or other change had been messed up... And, everyone is an online stalker until proven otherwise; that is why I use different identifications on different sites : )

I do understand the good intentions behind these proposal but, Do you realize that Steemit is a public and transparent blockchain where everybody have access to the information contained in it? It could be at least dangerous, and in my personal opinion really stupid, to publish your private information in a blockchain that could stand for many decades.
Why is so important to know the real name and localizing information of authors? A pseudo is not enough to publish a quality content?
If people are worry about plagiarism the best option is to penalize this behavior after the fault has occurred and avoid to believe that everybody is guilty because you don't know his/her name.
In fact Steemit has a very efficient feature to avoid plagiarism to be a big deal in the long term: your content is valuable and profitable only for 30 days.
Bigger the community, more easy would be to detect plagiarism and those accounts could be just marked as @cheetah does.
Best regards...

That reminds me. I forgot the proposal should ask the user to include their SSN.

As I mentioned in another response, I fully anticipated that there are many users like you that don't wish to share this information and they don't have to; however, if steemit's aim is to move beyond the small niche community that it is, features such as this could help.

I personally would have no issues sharing my facebook account as it is pretty much 100% private anyway.

I think verification should be optional and I worry about it being public. Here's why. There are some great people on steemit. But there are also creepy, aggressive, stalkerish people on steemit. For women, in particular, I think there might be some risk in revealing FB pages, websites etc to the entire steemit public. Maybe have the option to make the verifications public to people the individual person select? Like friending on FB. I think your intentions are good and see the benefits. But there are also risks.

Get too much info and the SSN and identity theft would be super easy.

I totally agree. Who would actually say, I like this article now I want to find out who the author is make sure they are verified so I know they are who they say they are... Should we implement verification for stalkers? Is knowing the author's real identity and past going to influence how you feel about the article? Of course it shouldn't.

I like this clause -your content is valuable and profitable only for 30 days.

It's a good idea, as long as it's entirely optional. It would certainly cut down on the sock puppets that are currently fleecing the platform - or at least make it obvious to the users that they are completely unverified and should be voted or flagged accordingly when certain whales continue to upvote them onto the trending page.

Yeh indeed. It should be optional.

That's a pretty neat concept. I would like the option of anonymity personally. What if the world found out I'm addicted to my jeep!! That couldn't be good!

That wouldn't be good at all. I'd also be upset if the world found out I secretly like huey Lewis and the news.


Interesting idea but what would stop people from making fake social media accounts to get 'verified'? Some of these fake accounts are very well made, with myriad 'friends'. Folks would just see '4 verifications' and assume all are fully-functional Twitter, etc accounts confirming the author's identity.

I thought about giving the verification a percentage based on friend count, age of account, etc.. but if people create accounts such as you describe there isn't much you can do. People are going to try to game any system you throw at them. That is just a fact of life.

It is a great idea, but it mut stay optional. If someone wants to stay anonymous, it is his/her right as well. One should never for someone to be verified (except if some plagiarism / ID theft / etc. is in order of course).

Great idea! I added it to the latest edition of the Steemit Wish List, which has a collection of the communities enhancement requests.

Thanks. I was unaware of the wish list. It is quite extensive! Just imagine what Steemit would be like if we could get all of that functionality implemented. Pretty amazing I think!

Makes me wish I were not moving right now so I could have more free time to devote to steemit development.

I totally agree :)

I wish so too. We could really use more freelance devs who are able to knock some of those features off the list!

I like it, but I suggest to allow people to verify once, have it logged, but allow them to hide or restrict access to any specific detail in their profile. This could be their websites or other social media. In the case where a person is being stalked or harassed, they might want to hide details but still remain verified.

We want to encourage people to populate a profile but at the same time you don't want to make the same mistake of Facebook. Two options, either let people control who can access their profiles, or find a way for people to be verified in a private way. A Youtube account for example would allow a person to make a video, verify, and let Steemit viewers vote to confirm it somehow as authentic. In this way even if they remove the video, they remain verified.

Sorry @dana-edwards, I started commenting to your post, and it turned into a huge rant. It isn't meant to be targetted to you. But it's already written, and I'm going to post it anyway.

Here it goes:

Sounds good, but you have to be careful with...

I hack your facebook. I verify me as you on steemit, and then you get your facebook back. Now I become you and you can never become you anymore on here.

I have no idea why everyone is fixated on verification anyway. WHAT does that prove?

It is our actions, and how socially responsible we are in public on here that matters. Not who we are, or who we've been. You don't hard code something like this into the system, because it is unnecessary.

Let me give an example. Charlie Shrem created a steemit account charlieshrem. He talks about things that happened to Charlie Shrem that only Charlie Shrem would know. He's very public in his posts that he's Charlie Shrem, and I think that's great. I believe it's Charlie Shrem based on the content he serves us, and I'm happy with that. I don't need a number stuck next to his name to convince me he's Charlie Shrem.

...and that's fine for Charlie Shrem, because he wants to be public about himself.

Now, I like to remain private. I have a steemit life, and a non-steemit life, and that's good enough for me. You don't need to know about my non-steemit life in order to read my thoughts, or agree or disagree with me.

What we're basically doing, is verifying non-steemit lives of people, so they can have a steemit life.

This logic escapes me. Abuse will still happen on the system regardless, and verification brings more negatives than positives.

This verification system should be abandoned.

Personally, I'd love an app that reports my real-time GPS to the blockchain for my mobile phone, so of course I think this is an excellent concept. No sarcasm, either. You can already get my real-time gps from google+.

Ohhh faddat. Gonna talk to you about this at the next Q&A on mumble. :(


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