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Facebook follows Twitter with rollout of verified pages

Facebook has taken a page from Twitter and rolled out verified pages and profiles.

The move will "help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook," the company wrote in a statement.

Going forward, verified accounts will have a blue checkmark next to their names on the Timeline, in search results, and across Facebook.

Facebook will extend verified accounts to prominent public figures with large audiences, which includes celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses.

Like Twitter, Facebook will proactively verify authentic Pages and profiles, and users cannot request to be verified. However, users can report fake accounts.

Facebook used singer and actress Selena Gomez as an example of someone it has verified, but it seems that Facebook has already rolled out the verified checkmark to a wide variety of celebs.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also received the blue checkmark of approval, as has COO Sheryl Sandberg and Zuckerberg's sister Randi.

Given that it's pretty easy to create a new Facebook profile or page - on any topic you can imagine - it can be difficult to know if you're looking at a genuine account. And since a tweet or Facebook post can become news in seconds, verified accounts will likely help users know if the post they're reading is actually coming from the public figure in question.

Twitter rolled out verified accounts in June 2012. For the most part, the service has been reliable, though the micro-blogging site did accidentally verify a fake account for Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi back in January 2012.