As one of the largest social media platforms, Facebook has an unrivalled presence with billions of users. From a simple communication network, the platform has evolved into a diverse social networking service used by individuals, groups, and businesses alike. Since it can also be used by public figures, global brands, and known celebrities, one of the challenges of navigating the platform would be identifying the authenticity of such accounts. To remedy this, Facebook has implemented the blue verification badge, granting a blue tick to accounts that are confirmed to be authentically the brand or person they represent.
Recently, Facebook has been in a major feud with global tech giant Apple, and the argument has led to Facebook removing Apple’s blue tick verification. Such a gesture, albeit small, has sparked much discussion and controversy, especially since the blue tick represents a brand’s authenticity.
This unexpected move was seemingly a result of Facebook disagreeing with Apple’s new privacy feature in its latest iOS 14 updates. The update comes with more secure privacy tools that will prevent apps from tracking user activity on the Internet. The tech company explained that the new features would give users better privacy control, especially with any form of data shared to third-party apps and platforms.
The iOS 14 changes will also allow users to control the personalized ads that appear on their end as a result of their browsing history and activity. With that, it is expected that many users will be unwilling to have platforms like Facebook access their private information. As such, the social media reacted violently to this update and alleged that the updates will be detrimental for small businesses as it stops them from using the platform’s data collection tools for targeted marketing.
To emphasize their stance on the matter, Facebook published a full-page print ad, stating that they were standing up to Apple for smaller businesses. They further accused Apple of forcing creators to charge for their content or adding in-app purchases. However, amidst all these accusations, Apple remained unfazed and merely watched events unfold.
The tech company’s CEO Tim Cook responded on Twitter, stating that users must have a choice on how their data is collected and used. He continued and explained that the update in iOS 14 will merely ask users for permission before Facebook tracks their activity. The social media platform then responded by removing Apple’s blue tick, which has since caused much rage on the Internet.
The issue was first brought to light by media consultant Matt Navarra, who took to Twitter to announce the lack of a blue tick in the Apple Facebook page. However, he quickly followed his post up with Facebook’s official response, which stated that Apple’s page was never fully verified. Other related pages like Apple TV, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Music, however, are seen to be verified. Facebook further explained that the admins of the Apple Page must first begin the verification process to gain a blue tick.