Options for verification of personhood online growing; Twitter still pretending
The ability to pay seven or eight dollars does not constitute evidence of who a person is, or that their claims about identity are true. The fact that it is being used as such by Twitter, the largest social media platform in the world, could be seen as an indication of how difficult it is to verify the identity of people online.
Worldcoin’s “proof of personhood” is at least in part an attempt to navigate this challenge, with the plague of bots on social media among the applications called out in a blog post on its World ID. The problems to online trust posed by Worldcoin Co-founder Sam Altman’s other project, ChatGPT, and similar AI models, is also apparently part of the motivation.
The blue check mark that supposedly confirms the identity of a Twitter account-holder was allegedly due to be stripped from anyone who got theirs by one of the legacy methods on April 1. Legacy methods of bestowing the blue check, as described by Vanity Fair, were largely informal. They were not inherently less reliable or prone to abuse, raising questions about the possibly-pending policy change.
Proof of personhood protects against Sybill attacks and the spread of disinformation at scale, according to Worldcoin.
Other options are available.
Liquid Avatar has suggested that its Proof of Humanity, launched in late-2022, can provide the assurance sought by social media platforms that each user is unique to the platform and old enough to be there. That system, in contrast to Worldcoin, is based around the user’s mobile device, rather than proprietary hardware that transmits data to a centralized database.
FaceTec has proposed that liveness detection has already been proven effective for proving that people are real.