Italian blockchain firm LKS created a non-fungible token (NFT)-based system that allegedly can prevent the spread of fake news.
According to an announcement sent on April 14 — other than countering fake news — LKS’s system also protects the copyright of digital content.
An LKS spokesman confirmed that the system creates an NFT which contains the identity of the publisher, publishing time and a link to the original source. The token confirms the identity of the author (which is established through Know Your Customer procedures during the registration needed to use the system), while the transaction timestamp proves publishing time.
Articles are processed by a non-reversible mathematical function which creates an alphanumeric string — a hash — which is then saved on-chain. If a single character of the article is edited, the hash changes and the hash saved on the blockchain can prove that the article changed. When a publisher edits an article, he releases a new NFT with an updated hash linked to the older one.
LKS foundation founder Omar Baruzzo told that blockchain is a good fit for such a project because of the immutability and traceability of transactions:
“[Those features allow] to create a process that can trace back to the user the responsibility of posting a content, therefore dissuading lying and permitting to understand exactly who said something and when.”
LKS plans to launch a first version of the system shortly on blockchain-enabled social media platform Cam.TV. In the future, the firm plans to create a new version of it that also features notarization on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.
Italy’s top news agency ANSA recently launched its own blockchain-enabled content tracking system dubbed ANSAcheck. The system employs tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain to track publication and editing.
While the LKS’ project is similar to ANSAcheck, Baruzzo said that there are major differences between the two systems:
“ANSA check just certifies […] that an article is stored in ANSA’s database. [Our system] will certify the existence of ANY content (news, but also content to protect), explicitly linking the content to the user […] using a public blockchain to notarize the process.”