Identity Verification for public figures?

What is the current best practice for identity verification?

I’m running a forum that has more and more public figures coming. I want to prevent impersonation and sock puppetting.

If you can’t use an IdP who already vets users I would go with the next best thing - established identities for that personality. Have them sign in with a verified social media account. Double verify with a private message from that social media account.

A last resort would be verification PMs with some form of proof.


Hmm, so there is no plugin or sign on service being used for this?

It depends on where your public figures are coming from. If there’s no technical layer which is common to them then you’re going to need to do more work at your end.


This is a giant enormous issue to tackle. I would recommend you approach this manually similar to how twitter deals with it.

You can set custom titles on users. So once you confirmed a user really is who they say they are you can add a “Verified” title to the user. You have plenty of ways of confirming:

  • If you have Twitter auth enabled you can look at the Twitter account they have associated and see if they are “verified”

  • If you know the email… well that is easy you can just flag it as verified

  • You can start a conversation with users and even call them in rare cases.