Avivah Litan, a Gartner vice president of research and co-author of the “Predicts 2020: Blockchain Technology” report, by 2023 30% of world news and video will be verified as trustworthy by blockchain ledgers.
This development will be vital as currently, news on social media on platforms such as Facebook and Google News are used and manipulated to influence public opinion for important decisions such as government elections.
Due to the enticing headlines, fake news often attracts more attention than factual news. One example, the top 20 fake news stories about the 2016 U.S. presidential election received more engagement on Facebook than the top 20 election stories from 19 major media outlets, according to one study.
AI models that support text writing and video production can be used to rapidly disseminate customized and highly believable fake content that serves as the new breed of cyber weapons,
Tracking assets and proving provenance are two key successful use cases for permission blockchain and can be readily applied to tracking the provenance of news content.
Work has already begun to tackle the fake news. In August DARPA, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency started on developing technology that can find and identify fake news amongst over 500,000 stories, photos, video, and audio clips.
Facebook has also begun to tackle the problem as in September Facebook created an industry group that specifically design tools that detect fake news. Facebook’s Partnership on AI includes Microsoft Amazon, Google, DeepMind, and IBM, as well as academics from Oxford, MIT, Cornell Tech, UC Berkeley and other schools.
If these efforts are successful platforms that feature the fake news will be able to “blacklist” and block the content.
Blockchain technology is proven to excel at supporting this use case as it enables a ‘shared single version of truth’ across multiple entities based on immutable data and audit trails.
The use of blockchain to verify news sources has already begun. The New York Times is one of the first news distributors to trial the use of blockchain to verify the source of photographs and video content, according to Gartner. The technology keeps a record of who took the picture or video and how and when it was edited and published.
Image source by The Forward