New York Times uses blockchain Hyperledger against fake news

New York Times uses blockchain Hyperledger against fake news

The New York Times is experimenting with a Hyperledger blockchain to combat fake news.

Yesterday the website of The News Provenance Project went live. This website explains how the Research & Development team of the newspaper will use this blockchain. The plan is to use a closed version of Hyperledger Fabric’s blockchain to check the authenticity of photos.

They don’t do this alone, they get help from the experienced IBM Garage team. The latter is an incubator for this type of new initiative.

What is the purpose of this experiment?

The website makes no mistake:

Everyone suffers from incorrect online information. To combat this, publishers, platforms and people need to find new ways to work together.

The News Provenance Project carries out experiments with the aim of building a solution for the entire industry, a solution that works for large and small publishers, open and closed platforms and especially people.

In the first instance, we investigate the usefulness of a blockchain-based system for recording and sharing metadata from images and videos published by news organizations. We also conduct research into how users can identify authentic media.

Gaining consumer confidence

The project is aimed at combating incorrect information and counterfeit media. This is partly the well-known fake news, but also illegal reuse of media files. This damages both small and large publishers.

News consumers who are deceived and confused … eventually get tired and apathetic for news.

The New York Times and its partners are carrying out a proof-of-concept this year to find a way to maintain confidence in digital files. The project aims to save the contextual metadata of a news item on a blockchain, think of when and where a photo or video was taken, who made it and information about how it was edited and published.

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The idea is that this digital stamp of authenticity can be verified anywhere, wherever the material is displayed. So not only on news websites but also on social media, in group chats and in search results.

Stay up-to-date

As befits a true high-quality journalistic medium, The New York Times will publish updates throughout the process. The proof-of-concept is also shared on the website of The News Provenance Project.

Sasha Koren is the project leader, she plans to share updates regularly. Even though she represents The New York Times, she welcomes other news media who want to participate with open arms.

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