Kendall Jenner made waves on social media this week after she joined TikTok, the buzzy short-form video platform. There was just one problem: it wasn’t her.
The account, which had received a blue check mark indicating the platform had “verified” it was the model and reality TV star, turned out to be an imposter. It was up for less than 12 hours.
“Within hours of verifying an account claiming to be Kendall Jenner, an internal review raised questions about the account’s authenticity, and TikTok immediately removed it,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNN Business.
Business Insider was the first to report the news.
The high-profile blunder raises questions about how TikTok vets accounts and protects its platform. It comes at a time when TikTok has emerged as the hottest social media network, capturing the attention of internet users, regulators and more established tech companies like Facebook (FB), Instagram and Snapchat.
Like other social media platforms, TikTok offers a check mark next to some accounts to indicate that the account actually belongs to a notable person or brand, whether that’s a celebrity, company or teen TikTok sensation.
On its website, TikTok writes: “The verified badge is a quick and clear way to let you know you are following the real deal, rather than a fake or fan account.”
Landing a celebrity of Jenner’s caliber would be a big get for any platform. She has over 122 million followers on Instagram, for example.
But the Jenner verification snafu shows TikTok may have some issues to work through as it grows. It’s unclear how the error was made, and TikTok did not provide more details.
“In an age where a blue checkmark is a symbol of power and influence, the gatekeepers of all social platforms need to ensure there are accurate reviews prior to verification to retain trust within their community and the marketing world,” said Joe Gagliese, CEO of influencer marketing firm Viral Nation.
If verification issues were to happen repeatedly, then there is the potential for users to “lose trust,” said Ryan Detert, CEO of influencer marketing agency Influential.