Idris Elba sparked discussion on Instagram when he posted a controversial statement online. In a few sentences, the actor told his followers that social media companies should verify all of their users to ensure transparency.
“People in the public eye get verified on social media, (symbolized by a blue tick), the process of verification requires them to prove their identity, so everyone knows who is speaking. Social media companies should make this mandatory for all users. Currently, social media is like boarding a plane and not having to show I.D.," he wrote.
“If cowards are being supported by a veil of privacy and secrecy, then social media is not a safe space. It is an airplane that allows travelers to wear balaclavas. If cowards want to spout racial rhetoric then say it with your name, not your username."
While many public figures agreed with Elba's statements, others raised concerns about this possibility. Some users raised concerns about social media companies collecting more personal data while others pointed out that not everyone has access to an ID due to citizenship status.
"I don’t think government-issued ID is the way forward as so many millions of people don’t have it so we’d need to be really careful about what we use as verification and why. Another consideration is that social media is used by marginalized communities to organize against the system (Black Lives Matter etc) because of its democratic traits. We had huge issues with the government identifying protestors via social media last summer and having their ID linked would only allow the Gov to have instant access to protestors," British activist Gina Martin commented.
"I absolutely disagree. Corporations already collate more data than they need to and sell that data around the world, they don’t need more. There are many reasons why people don’t use their real names on social media. The reason I removed mine (and for a long time didn’t have my photo either) was because dangerous people were trying to ID and stalk me. My personal details can already be found with court orders if I do something illegal," another user added.
There are a number of users that agree and disagree with Elba. Where do you stand?
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