recommended reading

Facebook Verifies Federal Accounts, Distinguishing Them From Copies and Fakes

GSA via Facebook

A little blue check mark can be a very big deal for citizens scanning popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in search of information from legitimate federal accounts.

The icon verifies a federal social media account as a legitimate government account and provider of information and services, a powerful assurance given the propensity for fake social media accounts that spread misinformation.

Over the weekend, Facebook became the first social media platform to begin verifying all government accounts with a blue checkmark using the Federal Social Media Registry API –an application programming interface— legitimizing more than 1,000 federal accounts in short order.

The registry is the government’s official repository containing more than 3,000 social accounts from across the federal space, but a recent collaborative effort between the SocialGov Community, 18F and Data.gov has condensed what was once a time-consuming, confounding experience into essentially a single click of the mouse.

The API model makes things a heck of a lot easier for all parties, according to Justin Herman, federal social media program lead at the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

“Traditionally, social media platforms verify accounts on a case-by-case basis working individually with agencies, an inconsistent process that confuses the digital citizen experience,” Herman said, announcing the news via blog post Monday. “We worked with innovators at 18F and Data.gov to improve delivery of the federal-wide registry API by creating a one-click export function that condenses the federalwide data Facebook needed into a shared service custom fit for their verification process.”

The fruits of the collaboration’s efforts are obvious.

The Central Intelligence Agency, for example, launched Facebook and Twitter platforms Friday, but without a verified social account, a user could search for the agency on Facebook and not have a clue which of several accounts was legitimate. These implications are magnified when one considers the importance social media platforms now play during emergencies, as users flock by the thousands to government accounts like the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Threatwatch Alert

Credential-stealing malware / User accounts compromised / Software vulnerability

Android Malware Infects More than 1M Phones, Adds 13,000 Devices a Day

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.