Blockchain-Powered Truth in the Age of Fake News
The world is coming to realize that truth, like liberty, is worth fighting for. From Europe to Asia to North America, citizen journalists are using the powers of innovation and technology to fight back against fake news and other deliberately misleading information sources on the Internet.
This article was written by Samit Singh and Dondrey Taylor, brought to you by the Vanbex Group
The Rise of Citizen Journalism and the Return of Honest News
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is moving to develop U.K.-based WikiTribune, a donation-funded community journalism site, to hire reporters to write truthful, fact-based news. In Indonesia, upstart Nulis is incentivizing trustworthy writers and bloggers by offering to share revenue with them. WikiTribune and Nulis are but a few examples of information providers recasting the financial foundations of news.
In the U.S., our Decentralized News Network, or DNN, is going a step further by harnessing blockchain technology, the distributed digital ledger that underpins digital currencies like Bitcoin, to create a community-focused system of citizen journalism, one that doesn’t need to rely on subscription sales or advertising revenue.
We came up with the idea for DNN during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign, dismayed by what we perceived as a decline in the quality of American journalism. In fact, Americans’ trust and confidence in mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, last year.
We firmly believe that blockchain technology can be used to create a system of incentivized reporting, absent the influences that conspire to corrupt journalism. The blockchain’s architecture shields DNN content from unwanted revision, deletion or tampering. Decentralized, the system is not vulnerable to a single-point of failure.
Decentralized Publication On the Blockchain
Incorporating the blockchain into our vision also allows for the creation of digital tokens to reward writers and story reviewers who generate quality journalism. Writers and reviewers can trade the tokens for dollars or other fiat currencies.
The more articles writers construct and are deemed factual and adhere to DNN’s guidelines, which are duly checked by reviewers, the more tokens that can be earned. While DNN hopes to eventually attract a large and loyal readership, the system’s financial health doesn’t hinge on attracting eyeballs or advertisers.
The process begins when a writer submits a story to be checked for accuracy and balance by a randomly selected online panel of seven anonymous reviewers. The reviewers assess articles according to DNN’s editorial guidelines and make suggestions to the writer. If the article is approved for publication, the writer is rewarded with DNN tokens and so too are the reviewers who approved the story.
It may sound complicated, but the DNN system of incentivized checks and balances is integral to establish and maintain the integrity of the journalism process. And that would be a step toward toward defending freedom of the press and the bolstering of the First Amendment whilst remaining totally community-driven.
Samit Singh and Dondrey Taylor are the founders of the Decentralized News Network.
Images via Pixabay, Decentralized News Network
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