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Leonid Bershidsky

How to Kill Fake Facebook Accounts and Preserve Privacy

Digital IDs used by cryptocurrencies could deter social-media mischief, says Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.
Privacy fan.

Privacy fan.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

If you're concerned that the proliferation of fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter could be skewing public opinion, helping to spread falsehoods and creating a nasty atmosphere, perhaps you should pay attention to the suggestions of Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the the digital currency platform Ethereum. (For those impressed with big sums of money, the market capitalization of ether, the Ethereum cryptocurrency, stands at $27.5 billion, second only to bitcoin.)

I had an argument with Buterin on Twitter the other day. He was outraged by a column I wrote, suggesting that Twitter and Facebook should require a credit card for account registration. I was arguing that the social networks are huge media companies that need to enforce order on their platforms.