Fact-finding agencies are responsible for verifying facts and allegations in news stories that may be misrepresented in the rewriting process or for political purposes. The news text may consist of truthful information written in a neutral news format, but the sentence may contain an anonymous fact or false statement. In addition, the country itself has begun to present false information, as was the case with the famous Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump.
The main strength of fake news is its high speed. Although there is always wrong information, the internet gets worse every year. The high speed with which fake news spreads can affect public relations and have serious political and economic implications that are sometimes difficult to predict. Not to mention, it became difficult to track down the original source and in any repetition the real news could be wrong.
Why is fake news difficult to deal with?
General literacy can help combat false information, as electronic news is often characterized by anecdotal evidence and a lack of originality. Today, it is very easy to create a misleading message or article: you only need a digital platform for the first publication, then the fake news is spread by the users themselves, and their number increases exponentially.
Additionally, spreading fake news often makes the platform owners profit through in-app ads, and they are in no hurry to abandon this method of generating income. Another problem is the misinterpretation of the news source. For example, the city government has issued new restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the media may interpret this differently in terms of traffic, typography of clicks, and exclusivity. Any fact check will advise you to “always look at the source”. In fact, there is no guarantee that the user will do this, as the news flow is huge and there is no time or habit to check everything.
Technology against fake news
Besides manual fact verification, there are techniques to combat fake news such as automatic source search or anti-plagiarism systems. Sometimes fake news producers manage to hide such systems when the original source is lost.
There are many projects and studies on the use of different machine learning methods to identify inaccurate information. These projects are often based on stylistic analysis of texts and model training on examples of fake news. However, there are also limitations here, such as collecting and selecting a database, as it is a very time consuming process. In many publications that commit false news, the style of false information is not the same as true-information news.
It’s the same with social media bloggers. However, there are examples of successful ventures, such as when Twitter acquired a UK startup to help combat the amount of fake news spreading on the platform.
How can blockchain help?
First of all, due to the very principle of action. The distributed ledger system not only assumes secure data storage and the use of cryptographic encryption, but also assumes the impossibility of making random changes. Smart contracts store text, images / videos and their sources on the blockchain. Anything that is recorded in the registry will contain raw data, that is, who published the specific news – whether it was an article, photo or video – and who was the source of the specific citation. This is true, for example, for news agencies or public press releases, and information that may be misrepresented when published by other media.
The reliability and longevity of original news is achieved through technological features such as cryptographic hash, digital signatures, and distributed consensus. In the proposed solution, the media blockchain system consists of the following elements:
Register a smart contract
Update the smart identity contract
Cancel the smart contract ID
A group of sophisticated reputation.
Blockchain technology is also working to solve another issue where media outlets change news or publication dates retroactively. The source can be tracked by recording a timestamp using a “blockchain-based, decentralized distributed repository approach to tracing the origin of news.” This is especially true during election campaigns or for tracking down the source of hate speech and defamation.
By leveraging blockchain platforms, news sites can increase transparency and access the source of disinformation easier, and most importantly, faster. Not only will this help another end user to verify the information, but it will also provide evidence of the metadata collected at every step.