Idris Elba has a solution to social media hierarchy — verify everyone.
“People in the public eye get verified on social media,” he wrote in a statement shared by The Shade Room, “the process of verification requires them to prove their IDENTITY, so everyone knows WHO is speaking.” He then went on to write, in all caps, “SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES SHOULD MAKE THIS MANDATORY FOR ALL USERS.” He continued on and said that allowing private accounts to merely exist on social media is like “boarding a plane and not having to show I.D.”
“If cowards are being supported by a veil of privacy and secrecy, then social media is not a safe place. It’s an aeroplane that allows travelers to wear balaclavas.” He concluded that if these “cowards” wish to spew racism or hate online, that they should “say it with [their] name” and not with their username.
This isn’t the first time the artistic polymath has sparked unique conversations around race and pop culture. During the George Floyd protests that consumed last summer, Idris chimed in to say that old, racially insensitive TV programs in Britain shouldn’t be outright censored but instead should come with suitable ratings and disclaimers to let viewers know what to expect.
“To mock the truth, you have to know the truth. But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it – wait a second, I think viewers should know that people made shows like this,” he said in an interview with Radio Times. “Out of respect for the time and the movement, commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you. But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.”
We’ve longed believed that everyone’s social identity should be somewhat verified and tied to a personal identity. We’re at a place in society where social media is too influential and people — all people — need to be held accountable for their words and actions. We’re with Idris on this one.