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Celebrity Google+rs do need steenkin' badges

Choc Factory ID police erase 'Creepy Eric Schmidt'

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Google has begun loading "verification badges" onto profiles created in its online estate, in a move to flush out imposters and solidify its ID-linking plans.

Mountain View said the badge will prove an individual is who they say they are, just as Twitter previously labelled some of its accounts with a "verified" button to help its users find the "real" Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Charles Arthur.

Google is now also playing the same fame game with Google+.

"For now, we're focused on verifying public figures, celebrities, and people who have been added to a large number of Circles, but we're working on expanding this to more folks," said the company's Wen-Ai Yu.

Apparently tons of slebs and Web2.0 public figurines are joining the social network that ISN'T Buzz or Orkut or Wave... hence Google's dash to add a tick box to those presumably lucrative accounts.

Twitter has proved to be a space that some famous people feel they can safely inhabit while offering their world view and collecting lots of fans whom they don't have to follow in turn.

So Google's clearly hoping to capture some of that stardust.

However, after initially opening a beta programme to all-comers who wanted their accounts verified, Twitter now only allows "trusted sources" (read: partners, advertisers) to verify their accounts on the micro-blogging site.

Likewise, Google is – for now – being picky.

Some might believe that Google has begun verifying accounts to placate those individuals who have been moaning about being locked out of the social network for using pseudonyms that are nonetheless their "common name" used throughout the interwebulator.

It's more likely, however, that Google always planned to copy Twitter's verification process, because it makes the sleb feel important and, better still, provides Mountain View with some much-desired star quality.

Sadly, after some weeks lurking around Google+, the Chocolate Factory police have finally killed "Creepy Eric Schmidt".

Anyone attempting to click on that profile gets the following clueless message:

"404. That’s an error. The requested URL was not found on this server. That's all we know."

However, we can boldly report that a blond, long-haired chihuahua remains on the run within the social network. But we cannot verify whether he has pooped on the carpet yet. ®

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