DeSo Verification in 2021

Sandirose

While this topic makes me cringe, I felt like it was finally time I share some thoughts about verification: those elusive little blue checkmarks that always seem to weave their way into the DeSo narrative.

I’ve hesitated to go full throttle on this topic because I wanted to avoid any perception that a post of this nature was self-serving because I’ve been very clear and vocal that I will not be waging a campaign to try to get myself verified at this time. Changing my tune now felt hypocritical. I’ll share more about my thoughts on that later in this article.

However, based on what I observe on platform and in my off-platform discussions, I know verification is a topic many in the community feel passionate about and more importantly, frustrated by so I wanted to give it some life. One of the reasons I know this continues to be a hot topic is that as I’ve been writing this article on and off over the past few days, I have been tagged in numerous posts amplifying the negative sentiments about verification.

**Please note that each node has the ability to verify its users but my discussion here is about the main node and DiamondApp since most new users are onboarded there with referrals and because DiamondApp seems to be syncing with the main node on verified profiles.


Does anyone even know what the hell “verified” actually means here?

When many of us joined BitClout in March and April 2021, verification was understood to be based on similar mechanics and standards other social media platforms used to verify their users and there was a means to get verified on BitClout if you were, for example, verified on Twitter.

Somewhere along the way, however, the community has collectively decided that verification on BitClout (and now DiamondApp) should follow a different approach and I think there is a pretty general consensus that verification should, at least in many cases, be a function of length of time a creator has had a DeSo account, the level of activity of that creator and the perceived value that activity (on and off platform) provides to the community and the platform (this last metric is obviously subjective but can be argued to be a function of the first two points, at least in part).

If DeSo is designed to change the social media game then the old school methods of verification on those social media platforms we’re trying to escape from have need to be expanded upon to better reflect life in the DeSo universe.

I fully support the methodology the community seems to have decided on and have said in the past that it’s important that verification here represent something different than it does on other social media platforms especially since creators are building their own circles of influence in the DeSoverse that may only exist here. I believe this is something to be encouraged and rewarded since the ideal as I understand it is to migrate creators away from other social media platforms and provide them a better home on a DeSo platform.

Additionally, in a monetized creator economy where the trustworthiness of a creator is highly important, the number of followers a creator has and whether they have received any mainstream press may not necessarily yield a full scope of useful metrics. There is also something to be said for creators with a certain knowledge level, skill set and/or understanding about a platform and a new technology that should be acknowledged so newer creators know who to look to for education and insights. Therefore, the old standards for verification are not representative enough for DeSo.

The core team has never published any information (that I know of) to define what verification represents or what, if any, the criteria or formal process is for becoming verified. Perhaps that is intentional as it seems to be a moving target. This is not necessarily a problem since allowing for verification to have fluidity at this early stage in the game does seem to have provided for the community to have a voice as creators with little to no influence on other social media platforms have been getting verified for many months now.

But here is where the problem lies:

Verification on DeSo in 2021 is confusing, imbalanced and arguably, perceptually rigged.

Does verification matter?

The core team has also been saying for many months that they acknowledge that the verification system is flawed and have advised that it’s being overhauled, however no timeframe has been given for when a new system will be available.

The “voice of reason” in me likes to remind people of this when they express frustration about verification however, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that during this interim period creators continue to be verified either because:

  • they make a lot of noise about not being verified and have some level of influence;
  • they are perceived as influencers on other platforms (even if they end up joining DeSo and bring little to no value);
  • they create the type of NFTs that the platform deems most valuable;
  • they bring a giant bag of cash into the ecosystem.

Hilarious meme by Matreshka on DeSo

The issue isn’t that creators in the above categories shouldn’t be verified. The issue is that there is no consistency.

On those occasions when I see newer creators ask how they can get verified, my response is usually “by begging”. While there is obviously an element of sarcasm in that statement, I think we can all agree that it’s really not far off from reality.

When creators take to the platform to campaign for verification, to the extent granted, I’ve seen a common response from the core team which I boil down to as “We’re sorry for the delay. Not sure how we missed you. Here is your blue checkmark”. I realize there is a customer service element to this response but there is an implication that they are in some way working through lists of creators that “deserve” to be verified. Obviously this isn’t the case. It seems like an “ask and you shall receive” system…but also only for some people who ask.

The response from the core team on this matter really just sends a bunch of mixed signals and unfortunately the way this is being handled is creating confusion and imbalances, perceived or otherwise for many here and the result is a collective level of discontent in the community, which, as I’ve said many times before, really should be an important consideration for the core team.

I think that had they halted verifications pending development of this new system when announced rather than continuing to cherry pick those to be verified the community may have been more patient but I realize that would have caused issue with influencers coming from other platforms who would expect a shiny blue checkmark in their welcome packages. I can also acknowledge that in terms of “celebrities” verification is important so investors aren’t buying fraudulent coins from imposter accounts.

Perhaps the development on the new system is simply taking longer than expected and this interim period is taking longer than expected (I realize how complex the protocol is and how much the devs have on their plate) but should the core team really wish to take on such an endeavor as mass verifying a certain subset of the community in the interim, there are more than enough DeSo data miners here (they know who they are and they know I love them because data is hot) to compile a list of creators based on the relevant criteria I mentioned earlier. It’s not that difficult to find creators who have been here a long time, weathered the slow periods and remain active and engaged. Sadly, it’s a pretty small crew.

Based on the small amount of information that’s been shared about the new verification system which I understand is to be based on “associations” and will incorporate some sort of badges, I’m looking forward to seeing it unveiled as I think it will bring a lot of value and undoubtedly address many of the existing issues. That being said, unless that’s happening in the next week or so, we really need a short term solution and better communication about this matter from the core team.


I want to conclude this article by explaining why I’ve never sought verification for myself (even though I very much appreciate every single person who tags me in posts suggesting I should be verified). It’s just never been particularly important to me personally because I’m not selling art or shilling my coin and I feel like I’ve earned enough respect from the community at large to feel like a trusted member. This is enough for me right now.

I’ve also not really seen anyone benefit significantly from being verified (although I do acknowledge, partly because it’s been pointed out to me that certain creators like artists do have a financial interest in being verified) so I had decided a long time ago that it wasn’t worth my energy to care about my own personal verification.

I need to interrupt this discussion about myself for a moment to expressly say out that I mean no disrespect to anyone who is verified or to anyone who stood up and asked to be verified. The fact that it wasn’t important to me does not in any way mean that I don’t understand and support those that it is meaningful to.

Okay, now back to me. Because there is no official criteria and because I can’t comfortably point to what verification stands for, I can’t comfortably speak out and say that I “deserve” to be verified. The only argument I could potentially make is that other similar creators have been verified and that’s not something I can bring myself to assert especially when there are a lot of people in the same seemingly “deserving” category that I’m in. If I’m being completely honest here, which I always like to be, there is probably a little bit of imposter syndrome at play as well since I still face challenges seeing my contributions here in the way others say they see them. I’m working on that :)

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