Adblock Plus Detecting Fake News with Blockchain

Web Developer Eyeo GmbH’s Adblock Plus will use blockchain technology in its Trusted News’ browser extension. Right now, Trusted News is only available for Chrome. Trusted News has been launched recently in beta. On the project website, it is stated that the browser add-on labels fake news media while making trustworthy stories. When the extension is added to the browser it displays a small window with a short description of news source which contains labels such as “trustworthy”, “unknown”, “satire” or “clickbait”.

The extension of Trusted News works with MetaCert protocol. The protocol uses anti-fraud URL registry to maintain the database for the project. This database will eventually be migrated to the Ethereum blockchain. The company is also planning to issue MetaCert tokens to track rewards and to avoid the risk of data manipulation or spoiling. According to the company’s ecosystem director Ben Williams, Trusted News will include an option where users can provide feedback on ratings. They even have the option of disputing them if they do not agree with the certain rating. The users can now say the site is biased or the ratings are biased because of whatever reason.  The company will use this feedback to make the products and services better. In the next step, the company will decouple that from any third party or server. The site will then be handed over to blockchain so that the feedback can be live on its own at that place. The user who will give honest and good feedbacks will be rewarded and get prizes. The people who will leave fake feedback will not be rewarded.

The project is in the testing stage and Eyeo is determining whether the project is useful for users or not. There will be no whitelist, which means companies can also bypass the rating. Eyeo is not the single company which expressed its interest in combating fake news. Facebook has also announced in November 2017 that there will be some trust indicators will be attached in the articles on social media. Google has announced in March 2017 that it will spend $300 million to create Google News initiative platform and focus on trustworthy news.