Drivers and Barriers for Using Blockchain Technology to Create a Global Fact-Checking Database

Malin Picha Edwardsson 1 * , Walid Al-Saqaf 1
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1 Department of Journalism, School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Stockholm, SWEDEN
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 12, Issue 4, Article No: e202228. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/12381
OPEN ACCESS   223 Views   185 Downloads   Published online: 19 Aug 2022
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ABSTRACT

A core concept within journalism is the demand for correctness and the ability to double-check news and its sources (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2014). In this paper, we reflect on the development of a prototype to study the possible use of blockchain technology to create a global secure database of fact-checks that is open to the public. The prototype utilized Hyperledger fabric to create a permissioned blockchain that stores fact-checks created by its users. Through automated processes using smart contracts (chain code applications), we aimed to create a solution that would improve the reliability of fact-checking and keep track of each fact-checking process for digital content, including pictures and videos.
Our conclusion is that it is indeed possible to create a blockchain-based system that allows the establishment of a network of fact-checkers that could collectively build and maintain a globally accessible fact-checking database. However, based on technical developments and the evaluation performed by the professional fact-checkers and data journalists in our study, we conclude that the cost, complexity, and rapid technological changes required in this domain indicate that blockchain technology is not yet ready to be directly applied to fact-checking processes in a real-world scenario.

CITATION

Picha Edwardsson, M., & Al-Saqaf, W. (2022). Drivers and Barriers for Using Blockchain Technology to Create a Global Fact-Checking Database. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 12(4), e202228. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/12381

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