As per the reports, Adblock Plus developer eyeo GmbH will use blockchain technology in its browser extension Trusted News.
Trusted News has been initiated in beta and as of now is only accessible on Chrome. The company Eyeo’s project’s website claims that the browser add-on labels false news media whereas marks reliable sources and news. Once the extension is added to the browser, it shows a tiny window with a short description of the news sources using the labels “trustworthy”, “unknown”, “clickbait” or even “satire.”
Data is assembled from different sources to decide the ratings of the news, for example using PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia and Zimdars’ List. The extension works with the MetaCert protocol, which exercises an anti-fraud URL registry to sustain the database for the project. As per the plans, the database will ultimately be migrated to the Ethereum blockchain. Eyeo also intends to issue MetaCert tokens to track rewards and to evade the risk of bad actors maneuvering or ruining data.
Trusted News will also have an option in which users can give feedback on certain ratings, and even argue if they disagree with a certain categorization. Ben Williams, Eyeo’s director of ecosystems said:
“They can say ‘hey I don’t feel like this site should be listed as biased because of whatever’. And we’re going to use that feedback to make the product better. And then the next step is to decouple that from any server, and from any third party, and give it directly to the blockchain. So that feedback can live on its own in that place and so that good feedback can be prized and rewarded by users and people who are providing lousy feedback won’t be. So that is the next step.”
It is to be noted that Eyeo is not the first company to convey their concern in fighting fake news with the use of blockchain tecnhnology. In March 2017, Google declared that it will pay special attention to the issue of trustworthy news and spend $300 million to generate the Google News Initiative platform. In November 2017, Facebook announced the formation of trust indicators attached to articles on the social media platform.