News Technology Media Telecoms

Verizon launches blockchain verification for news releases


Telecoms firm Verizon recently launched Full Transparency, an open source newsroom platform on blockchain. For the proof of concept, it partnered with Huge, MadNetwork and AdLedger to increase corporate accountability as part of its corporate responsibility initiative, Citizen Verizon.

According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, 60% of global news consumers don’t have full trust in the information given to them. Verizon’s Full Transparency specifically targets corporate newsrooms as opposed to news outlets. But it means readers can more easily go back to the original source and see what was said and whether the corporate announcement has been updated. The platform is particularly meaningful in today’s uncertain socio-political environment as consumers look for trusted news sources in an attempt to make some sense of the current situation. 

The news incorporated in the system is tracked on the blockchain ledger, reflecting precisely what was delivered by the releasing organization. Furthermore, news published to the Verizon Newsroom, the company’s News sharing platform, will be secured through cryptographic principles, enabling subsequent news changes to be tracked and contextualized. 

Similar projects have been carried out by telecom companies and the press industry to tackle fake news. In 2018, France’s Orange signed with startup Block Expert for their solution, which fights the spread of fake news by authenticating through blockchain that press releases originated from the company. That was particularly important during a period when there were numerous terrorist incidents. Last year, the New York Times announced a project that used distributed ledger technology to verify the media source and whether it had been modified before publishing news.

Meanwhile, recent events have accentuated the need for blockchain solutions to verify the credibility of sources. Large companies and startups are working on solutions to stop the spread of misinformation about crucial matters such as the election and developments in the Covid-19 pandemic. In October, Everpedia announced a collaboration with news agency Association Press to verify election-related data legitimacy. And earlier this year, the Italian news agency ANSA partnered with EY for a blockchain solution that aims to verify the information published by the company to have readers trust the news and prevent more panic and uncertainty during the pandemic.