The “SCARS Plan”
In order to provide a greater level of security in Social Media additional safeguards and changes will be required.
The position of the Society is that these are all easily implemented by all of the major Social Media companies and that they will result in a vastly safer user environment. We believe that these could be implemented in as little as 90 days.
- Post Location (City, State/Province, Country): With every profile, every post, every note, photo, etc. Use the log in IP Address of the person connected to display the COUNTRY and CITY a person is in when they post EVERY TIME. Scammers sometimes use proxy servers, but this will still show the inconsistency in their locations.
- Profile Location (City, State/Province, Country): Do not allow a new profile to specify a location, extract it from the IP address automatically, and make it permanently displayed publicly in the profile. Do not allow it to be changed more than once a year. This means we will know the REAL location of the person in every profile.
- Profile ID Required: Every profile must provide proof of identity within 180 days from the date of the creation of the profile. And when they are sent, validate the profile – or display the profile as “Identity Not Confirmed”.
- Faster Easier Verification Process: Make it much easier to verify the identity of people and businesses in social media. Many people use different names (nicknames) for their profiles, and companies use brands and DBAs (doing business as) all the time, Facebook and others must make it easier when verifying a page (regardless of the size of the business), same for profiles. This will not work for all countries, but where it does it will be a safer community and allow users to make decisions based upon it.
- Eliminate Duplicate/Stolen Photos: Use facial/image recognition to flag profiles that have profile photos used on other profiles – to help eliminate flakes and duplicate profiles. Use algorithms that periodically cycle through all profiles looking for this duplication. On all new profile photo uploads do a duplicate check.
- Easier Reporting: Provide a much easier way to report scams and scammers online. Then carefully examine the profile for communications that show the scam behavior. This can be done using algorithms as the first line, then escalation if it fails. This will also help eliminate spam.
- Use Scammer Databases To Screen: Work with the two largest scammer databases (SCARS & Scamalytics) to filter against profiles for scammer identification in all new and existing social media profiles.
The Society understands the value that these countermeasures will bring to the consumer, in increasing confidence, reducing liability, and enhancing shareholder value. If for no other reason, these should be implemented immediately.