Do you follow Banksy on Facebook? No, you don’t. You (and 2.4 million others) follow some random dude pretending to be Banksy.
The urban graffiti artist’s “official” page had its “verified” badge pulled after the online publication ANIMAL investigated its authenticity.
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s the difference between a verified and an unverified page:
That little blue checkmark badge means that Facebook contacted the page’s owner and that said owner passed the verification process, i.e., the page belongs to who it says it belongs to.
Despite verification, the Banksy Facebook page seemed dubious, since it had never been verified by Banksy himself on his website (he verified his Instagram account that way). Pretty much every time Banksy blows his nose it goes on his website, so why wouldn’t he have mentioned his Facebook page? His very active Facebook page, we might add.
After reaching out to Banksy’s publicist, ANIMAL confirmed that the Facebook page was fake, and submitted their evidence to Facebook. The social network pulled Banksy’s verified badge in a matter of hours, and admitted that they had been duped.
“We investigated the legitimacy of the administrator and believed that they were representative of the artist, so we approved the request to verify the Page,” a rep told ANIMAL via email. “It has been brought to our attention that this verification was made in error and we have unverified the page.”
So go un-like Banksy’s Facebook page before you fall victim to one of those page profiteering scams we’re so fond of warning people about.