Ecademy verifying accounts: good or bad?

29/07/2009 at 3:17 pm 1 comment

I’ve been late picking up the news that business networking site Ecademy (disclosure: it could be argued they are a competitor to WeCanDo.BIZ) is planning to introduce an identity verification system for members, as mentioned in this blog post by Glenn Watkins, the CEO.

In short, the verification process will involve confirmation that a payment has been taken on an appropriate credit card using Worldpay or Paypal.  Premium members will get this automatically; members currently making use of the site for free will be taken through the process of validating a credit card against a “small one off payment” to get the same validation badge on their profile.

Are fakes a problem?

Are fakes a problem?

The aim is to make it apparent to all who use the site that they are dealing with who they say they are.  Those members who elect NOT to go through the identification validation process will still be able to use the site, but will have their profile markedas unverified accordingly.

I’ve never been aware that Ecademy has an issue with fake profiles and I am unsure the measure will stamp those out anyway, but it will introduce two tiers of “trust” — those who want to surrender their credit card details to prove who they are and those who don’t.

It’s a brave move and my first thoughts were around what it would do for the number of verified members Ecademy reports it has, which I believe stands at around 170,000 (other reports suggest as much as twice this number).

I am very interested to hear what people think of this move by Ecademy; whether you think such an initiative is necessary on business focused social networks; and what alternatives you would suggest if you believe trust is an issue on sites like ours.

Just post your thoughts below.

I should probably add that we take trust seriously at WeCanDo.BIZ and it is a condition of our Terms of Use that REAL identities are provided, including real names.  We have deleted a few registrants without notice where we have seen them sign up with pseudonyms or use a company name or web address in place of the requested first and last name.  We have no real concerns that we have fakes on WeCanDo.BIZ, but monitor our member database constantly to protect against it.  Our support for third party identities has helped us better ensure the legitimacy of new members.  But should we be doing more?

Let’s have your thoughts!

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PRESS RELEASE: WeCanDo.BIZ ready to network Google Apps users through OpenID sign in Twitter and Facebook issues – UPDATED 8 AUGUST 2009

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