Latest in Gear

Image credit: nito100 via Getty Images

Adblock Plus creator hopes blockchain will help spot fake news

But will the people who need Trusted News actually use it?
379 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

nito100 via Getty Images

The creators of Adblock Plus, eyeo, have an uncommon solution to the fake news scourge: rely on one of the tech industry's biggest buzzwords. They've introduced a beta Chrome extension, Trusted News, that will use blockchain to help you verify whether a site is trustworthy. It's initially using four established fact sites (PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia and Zimdars' List), but the eventual plan is to decentralize the database with the Ethereum blockchain and use game-like token mechanics to reward everyday users for submitting feedback while protecting against trolls. If enough people think a site is getting a bad rap, eyeo could change the product to provide a better perspective.

Right now, the add-on can flag both sketchy and legitimate sites in a number of categories. A bogus site might be labeled as biased, clickbait or flat-out untrustworthy. It can also indicate sites that rely on user-made content or are purely satirical, so you won't inadvertently share an Onion gag as if it were real. Eventually, the hope is to add more nuanced details like a political leaning.

The extension should remain free, and won't include an Adblock-style white list that renders sites immune to criticism.

In theory, this creates an anti-fake news solution that applies to the broader web, not just an individual company like Facebook or Google. The question is whether or not it will find its way into the right hands. Many of the people who would install Trusted News are the sort who are already concerned enough about bogus stories to have strong critical reading skills. The people who most need it are the ones who already trust deceptive news outlets, and they may even bristle at the thought of installing something that challenges their ideology. Eyeo would need to find a way to make Trusted News very commonplace before it can change minds.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
379 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

'Free Guy' trailer shows a video game NPC without chains

'Free Guy' trailer shows a video game NPC without chains

View
Porsche tests a four-motor powertrain for electric SUVs

Porsche tests a four-motor powertrain for electric SUVs

View
'The Boys' season 2 teaser hints at more blood-soaked mayhem

'The Boys' season 2 teaser hints at more blood-soaked mayhem

View
OnePlus may return to low-cost phones with the 8 Lite

OnePlus may return to low-cost phones with the 8 Lite

View
Tesla will start charging $10 per month for 'Premium' in-car data

Tesla will start charging $10 per month for 'Premium' in-car data

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr