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  • Writer's pictureIgor Tkachenko

Does fake news bother you?

Updated: Apr 27

Fake World News

In this article, we will investigate a key engaging feature for a hypothetical decentralized social platform built on Web 3.0 technologies. The goal is to find the best candidate currently being considered for such a platform.

For the last few years, fake news has been one of the hottest topics on the internet. Trump’s disinformation campaigns, Kremlin propaganda, and other fake news sources that conservatives use around the world. People struggle to figure out where the truth is.

Discovering the ideas for the core feature of any new social network, we conclude that one of the most interesting features could be a game-like experience to discover the genuineness of news. Different news are proposed to you that are posted or reposted publicly on this platform. So, you have the opportunity to participate in discussions about their genuineness.

How fake busting could work in such a social platform:

  • The platform can provide you with relevant news articles to discuss

  • It matches you with several people who are also interested in getting information or providing their insights regarding the fakeness or genuineness of the article

  • Together you provide and discuss opinions and evidence about the article

  • You can argue and vote in the article discussions for a limited amount of time

  • After the discussion time is up, you are proposed to make a final decision, voting for one of the pieces of evidence or opinions provided

  • When the voting finishes, you see the public result

So, what we have here:

  • Such a platform can provide you with a guided process to make a group decision about the genuineness of a news article

  • It allows you to engage anonymously with other anonymous participants — so nothing except facts and logic can influence your opinion and the opinions of your peers

  • You may establish relationships with the most interesting people you find in the process, so neither their profession nor origin will influence who you include in the circle of interesting friends to interact with, as in a usual social space

  • You may object to such a fake busting approach, so let’s discuss possible objections

Objection 1: fake busting is not an easy art

Let’s look at some simple techniques that everybody can use:

  • Cross-check different sources about the same event;

  • Check the article against some famous and trusted sources — how does some established agency talk about the event, and if they talk about the event at all;

  • Try to find illustrations and photos via Google, whether they were used in some older news and in which context;

  • Collect some information about people involved, whether they can act or talk in the described manner — use logic.

  • You can find and propose any other techniques on the internet. Share your opinion and your findings in the comments under the article.

Objection 2: public voting won’t tell you anything about the genuineness of some information

First of all, such a platform can gather a random group. So, it’s hard to influence someone’s opinion or dominate voting by numbers. The second point is anonymity (a decentralized social network will likely enforce different random profiles for different discussions). So, you mostly engage with facts provided by people — not with their identities. That allows you to be as unbiased as possible.

And the final word regarding these objections. Social networks and discussions are about fun, and news discussion is also mostly about the process, not the result. It’s necessary here to meet interesting people, learn about others' opinions, and most importantly, learn about your opinion from others. Of course, more efficient tools can be proposed around this core approach, but they are not for discussing the core feature, which aims to engage and entertain you in a potential web 3.0 social platform.

Wrap up

We proposed a possible feature for an hypothetical decentralized social network — a fake bustling community. It’s a software-guided process to discover the truth about the way events are depicted on the Internet. The question is: whether it would be interesting and engaging for you. Please, share your opinion in the comments!

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