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Italian major news agency uses blockchain to stop coronavirus fake news

Image by Krzysztof Pluta from Pixabay

Wed, 08 Apr 2020, 13:21 pm UTC

Accessing reliable and trusted information about COVID-19 has become more challenging due to fake news.

The world is battling the coronavirus pandemic as one, but this doesn’t stop some from spreading false reports about the virus. In fact, some global jurisdictions have already imposed fines and imprisonment for spreading fake news about COVID-19, Cointelegraph reported.

A major news agency in Italy made a different move by using blockchain technology to end fake news. ANSA, Italy’s main news agency and an international publication owned by 24 national newspapers, has launched a new tracking system based on blockchain. The addition of the new technology aims to bring more trust between the media company and its readers.

Called ANSAcheck, the blockchain-powered tool allows users to verify the origin and history of news published on its platforms, its affiliated publications and on its third parties platforms including social media. It also helps ANSA keep track of its content use.

ANSAcheck is based on Ernst & Young’s proprietary EY Ops Chain Traceability solution which runs in Ethereum blockchain. It uses digital tokens and implements smart contract technology by linking a news article to a digital representation. It also creates a specific cryptographic string.

Stefano de Alessandri, CEO at ANSA, is aware that some use its brand for fraud and false information. So, they decided to combat the problem with blockchain technology.

“We are therefore particularly proud to be the first to launch a highly innovative project, carried out for all our readers and the clients of the Agency [...] Starting today, we can track the origin of the news and - at the same time - support the professionalism of our journalists,” de Alessandri said.

Meanwhile, Nestlé has expanded its use of IBM Food Trust blockchain technology to its coffee brand Zoégas. It aims to use the technology to monitor and communicate data related to the sustainability of the product.

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