The New York Times (NYT) has launched The News Provenance
Project, its previously-noted initiative which aims to utilise blockchain
technologies to combat misinformation in publishing.
Here’s what we know so far about the project:
- The first plan is to create a system for storage
and sharing of contextual metadata, with proof of concept expected to be available
towards the end of the year
- The project is being led by the NYT’s research
and development team with plans to make research and projects publicly available
- The NYT is looking to build on Hyperledger
Fabric as well as collaborate with IBM Garage
In an FAQ
section, the NYT outlined its rationale. “There is a gap between the vast
amount of information news organisations possess about the media they publish
and the subset of that information to which their users have ready access,” the
company wrote. “Into that gap, trolls and bad actors have established many
tools for misleading people, generally using authentic photos and videos as
“A successful outcome [to this project] would eventually
require the participation of a majority of the media ecosystem, both to ensure solutions
work for all parties, and to implement the system that takes shape,” the
“All hype aside, blockchain offers mechanisms for sharing information
between entities in ways we think are essential for establishing and
maintaining provenance of digital files.”
As sister publication AI News has frequently
reported, artificial intelligence has been the frequent battleground, both for
the pursuit of misinformation and those trying to combat it. Last month Twitter
announced the acquisition
of Fabula AI, a UK-based startup whose goal is to analyse large and complex
data sets for signs of network manipulation focusing on this use case.
In March, it was reported that the New York Times was exploring blockchain technologies through a job listing, with the right candidate leading the publisher’s ‘blockchain exploration’ efforts.
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Credit: Blockchain News