Idris Elba Says All Social Media Users Must Be Verified


“Say it with your name, not your username.”

Idris Elba is tired of “cowards” hiding behind “privacy and secrecy” online, and has some ideas about how to make social media a better place.

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The actor is sharing his thoughts about why everyone on social media should have to go through formal verification as a way to reduce racism and hateful rhetoric online.

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The blue check mark is currently reserved for accounts belonging to celebrities, politicians, influencers, and other public figures, but Idris thinks it should be available to everyone.

“People in the public eye get verified on social media, (symbolised by a blue tick), the process of verification requires them to prove their IDENTITY, so everyone knows WHO is speaking,” Idris wrote on Instagram this week.

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Continuing, he urged social media companies to “make this mandatory for all users,” and argued that, without this condition, “social media is like boarding a plane and not having to show I.D.” for the vast majority of users.

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Idris’ call to action comes after British soccer players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho faced racist abuse online following their team’s loss to Italy during the Euro 2020 final.

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“If cowards are being supported by a veil of privacy and secrecy, then social media is not a safe place,” Idris continued.

“If cowards want to spout racial rhetoric then say it with your name, not your username,” his message finished. The caption asked followers to “repost if you agree” and “say less if you don’t.”

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Right now, Facebook’s terms require that users seeking verification on its namesake platform, as well as on Instagram, meet certain eligibility standards. One of them stipulates that account holders are “notable.”

“Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for individual, brand or entity,” Facebook’s verification guidelines state. “We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources. We don’t consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.”

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What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. Stomp Out Bullying is an organization that provides resources to combat cyberbullying, racism, and discrimination. The organization offers a free and confidential chat line here.

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