Safe or Suspicious? X Now Requires Photo Verification

September 12, 2023

Introduction

X, formerly known as Twitter, has been undergoing some big changes lately. A recent announcement will make big changes to X Blue, which is a subscription feature that enables those famous blue checkmarks and gives users access to other premium content.

Now users of X Blue will have to send more than just $8 a month for membership…they’re going to have to send photo verification along with ID, too.

Why We Use Photo ID

In some ways, it’s understandable: Photo verification confirms that a person is who they claim to be. It adds an extra layer of identity authentication, which can be crucial in online platforms where trust is important, such as social media, dating apps, or financial services.

It’s common for social media and online dating platforms require photo verification, which helps reduce the prevalence of fake or fraudulent profiles, enhancing the user experience and safety. Harder to phish, or catfish, with their real face attached!

You may encounter photo verification at work, too. Certain regulations and compliance requirements may necessitate strong identity verification measures, including photo verification, to ensure compliance with data protection laws and anti-fraud regulations.

Is Photo Verification Safe?

On the flip side, users may be hesitant to share their pictures with X Blue. They must share their face and a government ID to a verification company called AU10TIX, an Israeli company that also services PayPal, Google and helped to develop ID verification for airports and borders thirty years ago.

The verification service will store the user information for a month. Many people are hesitate to send pictures of their ID to X after the security troubles the website has had in the recent past.

Then there are the concerns that people have with photo verification in general. Some users might have difficulty with the verification process, leading to legitimate accounts being locked out or fake accounts passing verification. It also adds complexity to the user registration process, potentially deterring some users from signing up or using the platform.

Meanwhile, determined individuals will likely find ways to bypass photo verification systems, such as using doctored images or other methods. It’s been happening since the dawn of photo verification.

Conclusion

Photo verification requirements can be a valuable tool for enhancing security and trust in certain online contexts. However, they should be implemented carefully, with attention to user privacy, security measures and user experience. Balancing security with user convenience and privacy concerns is essential for the successful adoption of photo verification systems.

So what does all that mean for X Blue? Only time will tell if photo verification is smoothly and easily adopted by users, or if it proves to be too big a hassle for people who prefer privacy. One thing’s for sure: The changes being made on that social media platform aren’t slowing down, and they certainly aren’t stopping.

References

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