In 2018, a video of former President Barack Obama appeared on YouTube explaining how easily technology can be used to manipulate video and create fake news. It had over 7.2 million views.
Obama discusses in the video how we live in dangerous times, where “enemies” can make us say anything at any moment. Moments later, the video was faked by itself.
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In the last five years, whether its news articles, images or videos, fake and misleading content have gained popularity on the internet. A potential solution to the problem now being discussed will standardize the manner in which content is presented online without trusting anything other than these standards. Join blockchain as a whitelisting tool for news and other web content. As part of an evolution of Web 3.0, blockchain is used to create a decentralized web, where an immutable database records content information and is linked to that content inextricably to ensure validity. Personal data stores would also allow companies and people to maintain control over the content they produce or consume.
By 2023, up to 30% of news and video content worldwide could be authenticated real in blockchain–in turn, the Gartner 2020 prediction report released in December mitigates Deep Fake technologies.
Blockchain can track the provenance of news (text or video content) so that consumers of the content know where it came from and are assured it has not been altered,
Avivah Litan, vice chairman of research for Gartner, told a recent blog
Putting social media and social networks on the blockchain will enable users to control not only their own information, [but also] the algorithms and filters that direct their information flows.
In December, Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, announced Twitter is
funding a small independent team of up to five open-source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media.”
Twitter’s concept is to make it possible for users to read what they want, providing filters based on blockchain to authenticate content if they like it or unfiltered content, according to Litan.
In the past two years, many high-profile ventures that use blockchain have emerged to counter fake news.
The New York Times, the Deep Trust Alliance and the PO.ET, are examples of the efforts made to standardize how news, images, and videos are put onto the Internet, thus capturing their path from source to the audience.
Po.et creates a decentralized Bitcoin-based system, which is a permanent record that signatures the content and uses existing interoperability standards in the media industry.
The News Provenance Project with IBM’s Garage developed a proof of concept using the blockchain from Hyperledger Fabric to store detailed information about the photo and video of news, including who shot and published videos. The blockchain will document the source of the photo: when, where, by whom it was taken, who published it and how it was used in a network of news agencies.
The Deep Trust Alliance has been founded by Kathryn Harrison, formerly Director of Global Product Management for IBM Blockchain, where she helped develop and build management service for Hyperledger Fabric.
Most companies and efforts start with deep fake video and images, which aren’t even prevalent on the internet; that’s such a small percent of fake content,
They started with deep fakes because they’re the easiest
In comparison to manually manipulated content such as a news article by bad actors, deep fake news refers to an image or video created by AI and machine learning technology known as generative adversary networks (GANs). Danny O’Brien, Policy Manager for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that technology is rarely used to solve a social problem.
I’d happily bet 10 bitcoins 30% of news not authenticated by blockchain by 2023,
O’Brien said that he was referring to the analysis of Gartner.
Some people believe that the solution to the problem with fake news is to create a system to vouch for true news. That stumbles in a couple of places. First, just because you put it out doesn’t mean it’s true. And secondly, people responding to and [sharing] fake news are rarely motivated to find out if it’s true.
In other words, audiences do not generally want to use critical thought to see if the news is real or not–as long as it fits a story they want. The news provenance project of the New York Times, however, did not start with articles. This began with playing with images since it is simpler for the algorithm to look at pixels and decide whether they have been modified or remain real, Litan said.
In comparison, an industry view about the sources that generated written text would be the best way to authenticate it. In other words, use the native consensus algorithm from blockchain to allow content producers to agree that something is authentic before it can be written.
The best use of blockchain is content management. If everyone adopted a content management system that [cryptographically] signed your stories and every edit made to them, and then recorded that and authenticated it using blockchain, the chances of it being fake would be zero,
Litan said. Nevertheless, misleading fake news is generated by state operators who construct narratives for political reasons.
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It doesn’t matter if they enter an authentication system because such a program is never universal, said O’Brien.
If you try to throw your weight behind a system that creates a badge of authenticity for ‘legitimate’ news, either that won’t work for getting rid of it or you can’t get everyone to sign up,” O’Brien said.
Litan believes that all media outlets will have no chance to decide on a common content management system.
Nevertheless, Litan said that blockchain is being explored as a tool for along with being used to list credible news sources.
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- Authentication: Certain techniques such as electronic sensation analysis or spectral imaging to ensure the validity of the document being registered and monitored on the blockchain (e.g. news, food, electronics);
- Blacklisting or Detection of Anomalies: use AI and machine learning frameworks to identify behavioral or data deviations in and out of a database feeding in the blockchain.
- Physical and virtual bridging: IoT sensors/networks / digital clones to link real’ truth’ to the virtual’ truth’ business event documented on the blockchain.
A decentralized social network platform could still feed you distorted sensational news, but presumably only if that’s what you choose to read. With blockchain provenance, you could also be assured for the source for that news,
In the end, it will be your purposeful choice to read fake news from bad actors.
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