BREAKING NEWS: Facebook officially recognizes Lamont as Famous Global Celebrity
Seeking Increased Profit Margins, Top Facebook Strategy Executives Woo the Charming Mutt
By Nate Thayer
June 19, 2014
Sometimes it is a bit embarrassing to be my pal, Lamont’s, human.
Yesterday, I was contacted by someone from Facebook Headquarters informing me that they had made the internal decision, based on Lamont’s growing celebrity, to give the storied mongrel the official Facebook stamp of recognition as an international public figure .
Facebook senior executives informed me that they had decided to place the coveted blue check mark logo on Lamont’s nose, to “verify” Lamont’s nose displayed on my Facebook page was authentic.
They wanted the substantial and potentially lucrative publicity that would come with driving consumers to get a peak at the lovable mug and verify that, well, that it was, in fact, the authentic prodigious, prominent proboscis belonging to the real Lamont, and not the photo-shopped nostrils of some up-to-no-good, nefarious impostor attempting to ride the wave of the mutt’s skyrocketing, remarkable popular appeal.
In May 2013, Facebook unveiled a “verified pages” feature to help users “find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people on Facebook,” according to a company blog post. A verified page will have “a small, blue check mark beside their name on timelines, in search results, and elsewhere on Facebook.”
“Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences,” Facebook explains. “Some well-known public figures and Pages with large followings are verified by Facebook as having an authentic identity. You’ll see a blue badge next to a verified profile or Page’s name. These profiles and Pages may include:
Popular brands and businesses
We verify profiles or Pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be. Keep in mind that not all authentic profiles and Pages are verified and that you can’t request to have your profile or Page verified. You can report fake accounts that are impersonating you,” reads the official company policy referencing Facebook corporate branding of Lamont’s nose.
In August 2012, about 83 million Facebook accounts were fake, the social network stated in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “We are continually seeking to improve our ability to identify false accounts” the company stated in the filing.
“Authentic identity is important to the Facebook experience, and our goal is that every account on Facebook should represent a real person,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
In February 2012, Facebook “started allowing prominent public figures to verify their accounts” wrote techcrunch.com. “Those with verified accounts will gain more prominent placement in Facebook’s ‘People To Subscribe To’ suggestions (and) users with many subscribers will be notified through their profile of the option to verify their identity. There’s no way to volunteer to be verified, you have to be chosen.”
And that is what led to Facebook corporate Headquarters to send an urgent message to the Great Lamont yesterday. Technically, I was contacted by Facebook who snookered me into thinking they wanted to bestow the vaunted FB stamp of approval on my FB page:
“Hi, Nate I’m over at FB HQ, and want to get your profile verified, which will get you that blue checkmark, which might be useful,” wrote the affable FB representative.
I replied thanking him for his thoughtful gesture, adding “Print journalism is having a rough ride and I am trying hard to wrap my head around the whole new rules of how the profession works. Actually, while I am a Luddite by brain wiring, I am a fan of FB. I have two pages–my “public” page and my “personal” page, both of which I use often. Having moved around the world most of my life, I credit it with putting me back in touch with hundreds who are spread world wide who have been meaningful to me–plus Facebook helps me squeak out a living.”
Facebook, in a rather cold and disinterested tone, responded: “Hi Nate I have put in a request for verification for your account.”
I was a bit skeptical of the unsolicited message from the start. I recalled the only time, some years back, when I had ever been accused of impersonating anyone, which, on that occasion, was an allegation from a drunken photo journalist that I was not Nate Thayer, insisting I was an impostor and I was not, in fact, me. This conversation was sparked after the said drunken journo had just claimed that I was, by name, an old friend whom he knew well, not realizing that he was, in fact, talking to me.
When he was updated on the matter, he vehemently insisted that I was lying and an impostor. That conversation was short when I put the kibosh on the logic of that argument. “Why the fuck would anyone try and impersonate Nate Thayer? What is the upside of that? If I was going to try and steal someone’s identity, why the hell would I choose to pose as me? I can think of a boatload of more useful people to try and impersonate.”
With simple logic, that ended that conversation.
Techcrunch.com cited the case of Lady Gaga, who, like Lamont, also has a “Verified” Facebook account for ” those who enjoy her music wont accidentally subscribe to another person that registered an account with that name in hopes of duping subscribers and spamming them. I’ve heard Facebook has teams aggressively recruiting celebrities to the feature, and Verified Accounts will let it dangle the carrot of even faster-growing subscriber bases. Verified accounts are a way to ensure people don’t subscribe to the public updates of impostors.”
However, unlike Lamont, when Facebook began to purge fake accounts in August 2012, Lady Gaga lost 65,505 fans, and Facebook’s own Facebook page lost 124,919 fake likes, according to data from Likester, the Facebook marketing data company.
Unlike high profile celebrities like Ms. Gaga and Facebook’s own official Facebook page, the official FB page of the Great Lamont has only continued to garner increasing numbers of swooning fans and admirers.
As of May 2014, the Facebook Top 10 Celebrity List 2014, calculated by how many “likes” one has accumulated on Facebook, are topped by Rihanna with 85,712,655 likes.
She is followed by #2. Shakira; #3. Eminem; #4. the world-renowned football (soccer) star Cristiano Ronaldo; Michael Jackson who lives on at #5; #6. Vin Diesel; #7. Katy Perry; #8. Justin Bieber; #9. Lady Gaga; #10. Will Smith.
I replied again thanking him for his unsolicited and unexpected offer and added: ” Through Facebook, I have reconnected with over 500 people I have lost track of over 25 years of moving around the planet. Many are friends, many others are professional contacts and sources and colleagues, many are those with various shared interests.I use FB IM most of the day to work and touch base with people globally. My primary feed that is useful for those those interested in contracting me for paid publishing of my work –my website–is largely fed by FB. At least a half dozen times this year, more than 100,000 people came to my website from reading a FB post of mine. I am not a fan of Twitter–I don’t have much to say in 140 characters. With FB, I can bloviate with abandon to an audience who are receptive to my version of excessive verbiage. I store my photos in FB albums by file names and make them private until have a use for them. I could go on. What I would like to know is how the fuck you guys know I am a dog nut with all the dog food ads I get. And if you could lighten up on the “Dating for Seniors” adverts, my ego would appreciate it.”
Then came the message revealing the True Target of the Affections of Facebook’s Top Senior Strategy executives:
“Nate–just heard back from the verification elves and it seems like your profile is still missing a cover photo – (see the blank gray space on the attached image) – choose your favorite dog photo and upload and let me know and we’re up and away.”
Bingo! The ruse was exposed. An examination of the photograph of my profile page clearly shows that my picture–the alleged missing “cover photo”– is clearly displayed on the left hand side of the top of the FB profile page. What was missing–and apparently the problem–was that it was not a photograph of the actual desired celebrity–my pal, Lamont. The Strategy Executives at Facebook had the cheek to even instruct me on who they wanted in the so-called missing profile “cover photo.”
Lamont had outwitted me once again.
Facebook had been wooing me to get close to Lamont and I had been relegated to my now common function as the Third Wheel in the relationship–the tolerated Plain Jane necessary to gain access to the charms and allure and unusually stunning non-traditional good looks of the 8 1/2 inch, 3-foot long, half breed mongrel, Lamont.
I replied to the Facebook interlocutor, who I now knew was only romancing me in order to get close to Lamont: “I just uploaded a new pic of Lamont in the grey space, per your suggestion. I sort of like it. Thanks again, and let me know f I should do more.”
I had posted a close-up of Lamont’s stunningly smoochable mug that now spread, in a banner billboard-like advert, across the top of my entire FB page.
Within seconds, the Man from Facebook responded: “Right on, Nate,I will get that verified so you can sit up in first class with Lamont, the Beibs and Jesus.”
I feel like the nerdy high school student with acne, whose best friend is the star quarterback on the football team, sweet talked by the prettiest cheerleader into being given an introduction to the handsome star athlete only to be discarded like a used Kleenex tissue.
The Wily Mutt has foiled me once again.