There are several ways to verify your identity on Mastodon and the Fediverse, listed below going from simplest to most complex. Even just doing one of these will be enough to confirm your identity.
Tell people about your Fediverse account from a verified account elsewhere
If you’re already verified on Twitter etc, tell people about your Fediverse account and link to it, then link to this post on your Fediverse account. This will let people on the Fediverse know that you’re the same person who owns the verified account on Twitter etc.
Link to your Fediverse account from your official website
If you have an official website, link to your Fediverse account from your website and link to your website from your Fediverse account. If people already trust your website to be official, then by extension they will know your Fediverse account is official.
Verify your official website link on Mastodon so that it turns green
On Mastodon, you can take the website method a step further. You can create a special verified website link on your Mastodon profile which turns green, which means anyone browsing your profile will immediately know you’re verified:
- Log in through your Mastodon server’s website
- Go to Edit profile > Verification
- Copy and paste the HTML code from the verification section on Mastodon into your official website’s front page’s code
- On Mastodon, add your website’s address into your Mastodon profile’s Metadata section, remembering to include https:// at the beginning.
- On Mastodon, press the Save changes button in your Mastodon profile settings.
After you’ve done all this, you will see a link to your official website on your Mastodon profile which has will turn green with a green tick next to it, to verify you are the site’s owner. If you have any problems, see the troubleshooting section below.
Create your own server and have your official Fediverse account there
You might want to make your own Fediverse server, perhaps as a subdomain of your official website. This is what the European Union did when they made their own Mastodon server ⧉ and their own PeerTube server ⧉. Because the European Union’s official website is well known as being at europa.eu, and their servers are all subdomains of europa.eu, it means all the accounts on their servers can be trusted as being official EU Fediverse accounts. Making your own server on a subdomain is much easier and cheaper than you think.
…and don’t do any of these!
- Don’t use “verified” badges next to your name, they don’t mean anything. Because no one owns the Fediverse, there is no central authority to give out “verified” badges the way Twitter etc do. If you do see any Twitter-style verified badges these are just custom emoji and don’t mean anything, it’s just people having fun or messing around.
- Don’t use centralised “verification” services or sites, even if they seem to be friendly and/or temporary. As the Fediverse has expanded, various brand new websites have sprung up trying to set themselves up as the one and only way to verify identity. It’s rubbish, don’t fall for it. The entire point of being on the Fediverse is to prevent any central authorities taking over, and there are already many tried and trusted ways to verify your identity on the Fediverse without using centralised services.
My website verfication doesn’t work! The address won’t turn green!
Don’t panic, there are things you can do:
- Make sure that all the links to your Mastodon account on your website include rel=”me” in their link code. If there’s one without rel=”me”, for example in a dropdown menu, the verification process may fail.
- Bear in mind there may be some delay before your website address turns green on your profile, don’t worry if it doesn’t happen straight away. Also, as each server on the Fedi verfies addresses independently and at their own pace, people on some servers may see your address turn green before you do.
- The website address can be case sensitive, so try typing it entirely in lower case.
- The website address has to have https:// at the beginning (which also makes it clickable)
- Make sure the HTML code of the a href contains only rel=”me”, the link and no other attributes such as styles.