Nowadays, when we read the news or watch a video of some event, how can we believe it is true? What evidence do we have of its authenticity? With technological progress, mankind overcame many barriers, but it also created new problems. Fake news is spreading like a plague and blockchain might be a very efficient way to control its growth.
So, what is Fake News? Briefly, it is news that does not rely on facts and is produced to deceive or mislead its target audience.
In social media, a large amount of digital content in the form of images, videos or blogs are created daily. The free access to create and share information on social media platforms leads to fake news. In turn, the creation of rumors from all around the world.
In the actual rush for digital content, information verification has to be set aside to not lose the perfect timing and momentum for sharing the content. It is then inevitable that mistakes and malicious content are going to be shared across the web.
How can Blockchain technology control fake news?
Being that blockchain technology places the trust from third parties into our own hands by allowing us to validate our transactions, it is safe to say that this technology can help us find the exact source of the original content.
Let us imagine a platform where publishers and editors come together to validate their content.
Having several parties owning “pieces” of a system where news are published, allows for greater authenticity. If something is completely untrue, it will not get approved by the other parties. Therefore, it will not be validated and will not be included in the blockchain system.
Blockchain would also make quotations and referrals a smooth experience. Providing the ability to trace all the content since the creation of the platform and being sure it is secure and tamper-proof, there would be no problems in giving the deserved credit to those who created the content in the first place.
All content uploads and versions would be accessible to everyone on the network. There is no possibility of editing something and making content inaccurate without other users being alerted and asked to confirm the new versions. This would make the platform a collaborative knowledge database populated with the best newspapers, magazines, informative webpages and independent journalists.
In terms of end-users, we can think of a verification seal, present wherever a piece of news is shown, to guarantee that specific content is included in that specific blockchain system and can be trusted.
It might be hard to imagine such a platform existing in the next few years. However, several projects are aiming to solve the fake news problem with the help of blockchain.
The New York Times, in partnership with IBM, is probably the most relevant entity trying to develop a blockchain solution to store contextual metadata about photos.This will lay the foundations for a future approach to written content.
In these terms, a platform with blockchain technology can provide online readers with a reliable way of verifying the content and its source.