Google+ is experiencing fantastic growth, with over 4 million users climbing aboard in its first few weeks. And that's as a private, beta-testing experiment. But the attention it's getting is drawing in scads of fake "celebrities" staking out famous names before Google lowers the authenticity boom.
Over the weekend, a minor flap occurred when it was revealed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was an early subscriber. Then the rumor started floating around that the account was a fake.
On Monday, it was confirmed via SMS conversation that the profile is indeed his. If nothing else, that shows that this bite by Google at the social networking apple is having a much greater effect than previous attempts. Remember Google Buzz?
But, already there are pages purporting to be the real profiles of such SN superstars as Lady GaGa, Kim Kardashian and even Nancy Pelosi. Twitter in particular is scrupulous in authenticating celebrity accounts with a verified badge next to the real celeb's name. In fact, Twitter has even taken down fake celeb accounts and awarded them to the real article.
How will Google+ handle this problem? One way is a mandate for users to agree to privacy rules that will prevent fake celeb accounts. That's supposed to happen on July 31, for all users. Another is for the celebrity to contact Google directly to prove their identity, much as Facebook has done.
If Google+ grows as expected (one estimate says the potential is for 100 million users!) authentication will be even harder to manage.
But it looks like this is one fight worth undertaking.
What do you think? Are you on Google+ yet? Will you join when the service goes public?
Please leave a comment below.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia