Today's guest post comes from Sabarish Nair, Blockchain Analyst at BirthVenue.
The world is at a standstill due to the Covid19 outbreak which began in Wuhan, China. It has now spread to over 100 countries with over 20,000 deaths in total and still climbing. The WHO has classified the outbreak as a global pandemic. We know that there is no cure for the disease to date and the only way to control the outbreak is to socially distance yourself to break the chain of contact, which is the primary means of transmission.
“You can revive an economy, but not a corpse.” ― Abhijit Naskar
While the world is struggling to keep up with the fight against the novel coronavirus, all the effort of the emergency service personnel fighting on the front lines is being negated by the spread of fake news. From offering unverified home remedies to tackle the virus, to floating fake advisories asking people to avoid foods such as ice cream and chicken, and sharing conspiracy theories, people’s devices are being flooded with incorrect news.
Social media companies have been under immense pressure since the 2016 presidential election to do something — anything — about the proliferation of misinformation on their platforms.
Companies like Facebook and YouTube have responded by applying anti-fake-news strategies that seem as if they would be effective. Although the platforms are making some progress in their fight against misinformation, our recent research suggests that many of their tactics may be ineffective — and can even make matters worse, leading to confusion, not clarity, about the truth. Social media companies need to empirically investigate whether the concerns raised in these experiments are relevant to how their users are processing information on their platforms.
One strategy that platforms have used is to provide more information about the news’ source. YouTube has “information panels” that tell users when content was produced by government-funded organizations, and Facebook has a “context” option that provides background information for the sources of articles in its News Feed. While these are good starts, It’s just not enough!
It’s in these kinds of situations that the value of technologies like blockchain comes to center stage. This use case fits like a glove because its data structure can help maintain a transparent and immutable record of a news article’s origins: when, where and by whom it was taken, who published it and how it has been used across a network of news organizations. Tracking assets and proving provenance are two key successful use cases for permissioned blockchain and can be readily applied to tracking the provenance of news content.
“Blockchain technology is proven to excel at supporting this use case as it enables a ‘shared single version of the truth’ across multiple entities based on immutable data and audit trails,” -- Avivah Litan, a Gartner VP of research
Blockchain uses provenance to emphasize what is known without discrediting all information without provenance information. By providing provenance information, publishers can increase confidence in their content without delegitimizing work from smaller outlets, or independent journalists. The presence or absence of provenance information should not be seen as an automatic endorsement that a post is “true” or “false.” Publishers can simply opt into including provenance information as an additional resource for their audiences to demonstrate that their reporting is credibly sourced.
Immutable Chain of History
Blockchain can highlight surface editorial history from multiple publishers for a wider perspective. It can give access to the history of articles associated with an article to help users analyze the image within the wider coverage of the topic. Enable them to do deeper research and to investigate perceived publisher biases.
Bird’s eye view
Blockchain can provide multiple visual perspectives. For example, it can include additional information that shows other perspectives to help users build confidence at a glance about what is represented.
All the efforts that companies like Facebook and Google are presently taking can also be done with a blockchain-based backend however the difference is that the steps that these companies claim to take to fight fake news will now be able to be tracked giving them additional pressure for transparency.
BirthVenue as a company has been working towards adding value to the blockchain ecosystem by contributing not only through intelligent blockchain platform work but also through our learning and development division. We have built platforms to accommodate multiple use cases and have solid partnerships with industry leaders to provide us with sufficient support.
Helping you understand the fundamentals of blockchain and develop elegant blockchain solutions to empower your successful businesses into new technology spaces, BirthVenue.
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