How to Verify Yourself on MastodonPosted 2022/11/06
With the most recent influx of users from Twitter to Mastodon, I've noticed several new accounts that appear to be famous people. Because these folks are new to Mastodon, most I've seen are unverified. Verification works really differently on Mastodon than it does on Twitter and is a little technical, so this post serves as a step by step guid for anyone who is at risk of being impersonated on Mastodon.
Differences from Twitter
On Twitter, verification is a process that is handled by Twitter staff. They verify that you are who you say you are by asking you to provide a photo of your ID. Once you've provided that, they verify you and you get a blue checkmark next to your name. Up to now Twitter did this at their own discretion, but they recently announced that they may start making this a paid feature.
On Mastodon, there's no centralized authority that can verify folks in the same way as Twitter. Instead you can verify yourself by putting a link to your website in your bio, then linking back to your Mastodon account from your website in a special way.
Linking to your site From Mastodon
Note: I'm assuming in these instructions that you're using a PC and are interacting with your Mastodon account with a web browser. Certain features are different or missing from the mobile website and from the mobile apps, so if you're on your phone things might be a little different.
The first step in verifying yourself is linking from your Mastodon profile to your website. This should be your public website that people trust is run by you or your organization. To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to your profile page on Mastodon. Click on "Edit Profile" under your username on the left.
Scroll down to the "Metadata" section, towards the bottom of the page. In the first row,
type "Website" in the box on the left and the full URL of your website in the box on the
right. Your website URL should start with
https://. For example, for my site I put
- Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.
Linking back to your Mastodon account from your website
Now, you need to add a link to your Mastodon account from your website. The easiest way to do this is to steal the bit of HTML code that Mastodon generates for you. To do this, just hit the copy button to the right of where you added your website on your Mastodon profile page, under "Verification". The HTML code will look something like this:
<a href="https://your-mastodon.site/@YourMastodonUser" rel="me">Mastodon</a>
The important bit here is the
rel="me" part. This says "this link is to a page that I control and
Then, you just add that code somewhere on the home page of your site. (If you don't maintain the code on your website contact whoever does and send them the link to this article along with the link to this to your Mastodon, they should be able to help from there.
Once you've done that, you should be verified on Mastodon. You can check by going to your profile page on Mastodon and looking for the little checkmark next to your username.
This solution isn't perfect
Even with this solution, it's still possible that someone could impersonate you on Mastodon. This verification is only as reliable as the websites that you link to. If someone were to create a website that looks like yours, they could link to their cloned Mastodon account from that. But it's better than nothing, and Twitter verification has it's flaws as well. Have you seen how many verified Elon Musks there are on Twitter these days?