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I am working closely with a local entity and they want a registration process for their site visitors. However, they do not want people to create fake accounts using throw-away email addresses, etc.

They are considering using something like Facebook to authenticate a user because Facebook does all of the vetting ahead of time to ensure that a person is pretty darn close to the real thing, which assures this company that their new users aren't made up. Basically, if you don't have a Facebook account, you can't log into our site and participate in the community - it's all or nothing.

The problem I'm facing is that the owner of the company doesn't want to require his users to have a Facebook account. Most of his friends don't have one and neither does he.

Is there another sign-in option out there that is pretty darn close to making sure that legitimate people are given access to the site? I know Twitter, AppleID, and Google also have sign-in options but they're not really any better at vetting a user.

I know I have difficulty cheating a registration process if I'm required to give my mobile number but I've never set something like that up so I'm not sure what additional services (text a code to login) would be required and how much that would cost.

Is Facebook the only decent option out there to accomplish his goal of preventing fake accounts?

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You can open multiple accounts with Facebook, there isn't any real "vetting" going on there (unless something has recently changed), it might even be easier to create a facebook account than it is to create a gmail account (since gmail tends to require some form of phone verification).

I hate phone verification, I hate facebook sign-in, I dislike google sign-in, I hate Amazon sign-in. The point being that, I don't think you'll find a "perfect" solution here, some people will simply not bother signing up if they're required to tie their identity to the service in some way (especially if they're only "lukewarm" about whatever the service is). But, if you force people to use facebook, you're simply cutting yourself off from a lot of users who would've perhaps liked to use the service but simply don't have a facebook account (for whatever reason).

So, if you're that set on ensuring people don't sign up with multiple/fake accounts and thus require some sort of service to be used as login, then perhaps your best bet would be to include all four options. Because although I hate all of them, I only "dislike" google sign-in (for my own reasons), and you might find people in a similar situation and at least that way you'll be able to "hopefully" retain a large number of would be registrants.

Food for thought (not really a conclusive answer to your question).

  • For the OP's reference, I have a very similar point-of-view. I have a FB account (mainly to save my Candy Crush progress!) but would avoid using it (and other methods mentioned) as a sign-up method if possible, and if a site didn't allow email sign-up, I may well not bother at all. – TripeHound Jun 5 at 9:49
  • I agree with the points you've made and agree that giving the user options in addition to Facebook is probably a more 'pleasant' way to go so that the end user has options. – harperville Jun 6 at 0:32

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