Though fake news has been there well before the 2016 election, yet the term has risen to new levels of prominence amid the presidency of Donald Trump. The Collins Dictionary, in 2017, went so far as to make “fake news” a word.
Recently, there were a lot of debates about whether or not Blockchain can help fight fake news.
Blockchain is the technology that manages the entire database on which BTC transactions are stored; however, the confusion about the technology is widespread.
What Blockchain Does?
Blockchain is more secure than the databases maintained by just one authority, that are more easily compromised or hacked. Every user has a copy of that data which makes the network so vast that it could easily survive a natural disaster. Besides, a user would need to enlist 51% of all the computers in the network and rewrite the entire history of each transaction to alter a block on the chain in a short time frame. This is what makes it an unlikely scenario.
The ability to cut the middleman out in the transactions, which is the case in fiat currency transaction, is one of the primary reasons why Blockchain is an industry interrupter. In the economy, Airbnb and Uber transactions could be P2P payments, eliminating the need for the host platform.
Blockchain Has Potential to Change Journalism
Content and journalism have that potential to be changed by blockchain technology since practitioners meet the challenges of fake news often. There’s a platform, Civil, that has taken such an initiative that it’s working pretty well on this. The platform seeks to empower journalists as well as their supporters for engaging more transparently, with less reliance on owners or distribution platforms.
Civil utilises Ethereum blockchain to license content and make sure that newsrooms behave ethically. It sells CVL tokens that traders can buy and use to vote on whether a particular news outlet’s content is free of bias and fact-based or not. As of July 2018, 13 news companies have signed up to be on the Civil platform.
Newsrooms stake $1,000 in CVL tokens to participate, and they have to agree to uphold a code of ethics known as the Civil Constitution. Readers who feel like newsroom is violating that code should take stake $1,000 in CVL, and the token holders vote to decide whether the newsroom can continue to be listed on the platform.
Yael Grauer explains it like this –
“If the newsroom is rejected, it loses its deposit, which is split between the challenger and the token holders who voted to reject it. If the challenge fails, then the challenger’s deposit is split between the newsroom applying and the token holders who voted to accept it. This process provides an economic incentive for CVL token owners to protect the integrity of journalism on the platform.”
Why is Blockchain Needed for Promoting Ethical Standards in Journalism
Blockchain helps Civil’s content to reside in a much-secured database; thus, it can’t be changed or altered unless a majority of CVL token holders agree. Civil, in an article, likened its system to a game.
Financial Times’ Hannah Kuchler writes –
“How will the organisation persuade enough people who are addicted to social media to instead crave ethical journalism-and pay for it? What happens to the Civil economy if the value of the token soars or plummets? And how do you decide and enforce a code created by a global community, with different definitions of ethical journalism and what constitutes political bias?”