Wednesday, 27 March 2024
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Dear TechNet community, 

TechNet is pleased to announce the introduction of 'Verified’ badges for members who wish to confirm the authenticity of their presence on the platform. 

Eligibility criteria for Verified badge 

To receive a Verified badge, TechNet members have to request it and meet any of the following requirements: 

  • Active participation on the TechNet-21 website (forum posts, participation in groups, etc.) 
  • Or participation to one of the past three TechNet Conference 
  • Or being a panelist on at least one TechNet webinar 
  • Or be registered on TechNet with an official email address (e.g. [email protected]) from a partner organization, ministry of health, or PQS manufacturer

For obvious reasons, your account must have no sign of being deceptive or engaging in spam activities. 

How to request verification


TechNet members can request to receive a Verified badge. To do so: 

  1. Go to your profile page: https://www.technet-21.org/community/my-profile 
  2. Click on the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the page and select "Edit profile" 
  3. In the left-hand navigation, under "Other links", click "Request verification" 
  4. Please explain why your account should be verified (you can use one of the criteria mentioned above) and click "Send request" 

Your request will then be verified and approved if you meet one the criteria mentioned above.

We're looking forward to receiving your requests. Should you have any question related to this topic, please reply to this post. 

1 month ago
·
#7242

Dear Technet responsibles,

I am a bit surprised to see this initiative on TechNet, which I think has so much benefited over the years from the openness of the community. The bar set for verification is quite high, and I'm worried that this potentially sets up a system of exclusivity or perceived exclusivity that might discourage good dialog and new ideas or create an additional barrier to open discussion. I can understand if the site wishes to put something in place as a barrier against spam accounts, but this criteria seems to go much beyond that, making verification too much of an insider club in my opinion. I'm wondering if there is more information available about why such a system is being adopted?

Kind regards,

Joanie Robertson
PATH

1 month ago
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#7244

I agree entirely with Joanie Robertson.  Keep the dialogue open, keep it simple and avoid TLAs.

Well done Joanie.  Not even a single TLA*..

James Cheyne.

* Three Letter Acronym

1 month ago
·
#7245

Hi Joanie and James, thanks for the feedback.

There seems to be some confusion over the purpose of the Verified badge. The idea of introducing this new feature was recently suggested by a TechNet member who wanted to reassure other members that he was who he was claiming to be. Providing this reassurance is the primary purpose of the Verified badge.

It's worth clarifying a few points about how the Verified badge will work.

Most importantly, there is no functional difference between a verified account and an unverified account. They are identical in all respects.

When you register for a TechNet account, the moderator will check that the registration comes from a real human being and not a bot. So long as there are no obvious giveaways, [email protected] might even make it on to TechNet (the moderator might spot the imposter and reject the application in this case, but may not be able to do it every time).

The Verified badge is something different and involves a separate, manual process on the part of the moderator to verify that the account is for the person it claims to be. We have set the bar for doing so as low as possible: if you have a TechNet account and have participated in any way on the TechNet website (for example, by replying to a forum post or adding a resource to the Knowledge Hub), OR have been a panellist on a TechNet webinar, OR have attended a TechNet Conference, OR you have an official email address, you can be verified. Unfortunately it's not possible for the moderator to provide a verification without at least one of these.

I hope the above addresses some of the main concerns around exclusivity in your replies. I agree that the openness of the TechNet community is one of its key assets, and we should avoid anything that creates additional barriers to open discussion. It seems that addressing and mitigating the "perceived exclusivity" of a verification system popularised by Elon Musk and his drive to monetise X/Twitter may be more difficult to manage than we anticipated.

I wonder what others think? Do the disadvantages of the verification system outweigh the advantages? Should we roll back the Verified badge?

1 month ago
·
#7246

Dear Daniel,

I agree with joanie and James since Technet is one of the best sources that EPI managers use to find information. Not all of them can use offical emails (me too when I first registered myself), not all of them are participating on discussions (but they read most of them), not all of them have been panelist or have had the chance to be part of at least one of the three last conferences.

So you need to include more options.

I think you have the possibility to see the email opening rates so you can filter them (this is just an idea that came up in my mind right now, but maybe I am wrong).

Hope the "verified" badges will be improved. :)

 

 

1 month ago
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#7247

Hi all, this is an interesting debate and relevant to other community of practice groups too! I think Daniel's point that this is totally voluntary and there is no 'functional diffeence' of not being verified is important. However, although there is no functional difference, there is a possibility that people will assume some kind of difference in status or importance in the future. This conversation may also be being colord by the controversial check marks and badges in Twitter/X.  It seems to me that a primary question is: Are there cases of abuse of TechNet that could be helped by having authentication badges? E.g., have there been cases of assuming false identities, phishing, intentional misinformation, or fake news spread through TechNet for which a 'badge' might provide greater confidence to readers? 

Looking forward to seeing the discussion and resolution!

Kevin

1 month ago
·
#7248

Thanks all for the good discussion. To answer Kevin's question, yes, there were cases of spamming and misinformation that TechNet managed to mitigate because they were public. It's impossible to know however if some accounts try to spam via direct message.

The TechNet platform has always been open to all, and the bar to have an account approved is low as it's sometimes difficult to know if the person who creates it is who they say they are. Still, 99% of the people who apply are approved. In that context, improving trust can have a benefit on the platform; it can improve trust when necessary, in particular when exchanging private messages with someone you never interacted before, and if the relationship implies something transactional (e.g. getting in touch with someone from a company to buy a product, exchanging personal information for a potential recruitment, etc.)

Being verified doesn't give additional rights or power on the platform, it's voluntary, and it doesn't mean one account is superior or inferior to another one. It only means a user wants to make sure people know they are who they say they are. Verification really doesn't change anything in terms of how users can interact with the platform, and a user who is just interested in reading or posting once in a blue moon doesn't really need to be verified, frankly. Users who want to interact more with other users to build a network, exchange information publically or privately may find it useful.

Regarding criteria, in reality, any criteria that allows us to verify an account works. Verification is verification, the only thing that is needed is that we can ensure that a person is who they say they are. So if someone really wants to be verified and doesn't meet any of the criteria mentioned above, they can still interact with the moderator, and a solution can be found, as long as they can show they are the real person behind the account they manage.

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