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New York Times Researchers Handle Fake News with Blockchain Technology

The New York Times Research and Development Team has ambitious plans to disseminate misinformation in online news publishing. This so-called Project Provenance News will take advantage of the irreversible and decentralized quality of the blockchain data storage system to provide extensive metadata on media published with the news.

According to a post from the project’s website, the team aims to create an industrial solution that allows readers and viewers of content to check the authenticity of the media that accompanies online news news quickly. The post stated that there were inconsistencies between the data that the news organization had about the photos and videos they published and information that could be accessed by readers. This is especially true with media shared online.

Usually, when news organizations record videos or take photos, they will record information about when and where the media was captured, and by whom. However, because many of these metadata are lost when content is circulating on the internet, the opportunity to disseminate information that is incorrectly using media content appears on its own. Initially, the project will talk to news platform users in an effort to find which metadata signals and indicators are the most useful and efficient in proving the authenticity of content. This stage is predicted to run until the end of 2019.

Then, the New York Times researchers plan to build a proof-of-concept platform based on the Hyperledger blockchain to fully explore how ledger technology distributed can help restore user confidence in the news industry: “We created a system for storing and sharing contextual metadata about photos using Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source, permitted, blockchain framework.”

The New York Times platform will be accessible to all. Following these phases, a working group is planned to help advance future experiments with blockchain technology. The ultimate goal is the arrival of a suitable platform that can be accessed by all media platforms.

The ambitious project of the New York Times Research and Development team is just one of the many ways blockchain technology has rocked the industry around the world. Most of the initial practical applications outside of cryptocurrency have seen companies from diamond miners to fishermen experimenting with technology to track products or materials and to prove their authenticity.

 

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