Software development company Eyeo GmbH, the creator of the ad blocker extension Adblock Plus, is planning to launch a browser extension that can classify news sources as fake or trustworthy using blockchain technology. The extension, TrustedNews, is already live and can be downloaded on Google Chrome. However, the plan to transfer it to the Ethereum blockchain is still in the development stage, as reported by TechCrunch.
Ben Williams, Eyeo’s director of communications, said that TrustedNews currently receives ratings from PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia and Zimdars’ List – the extension then displays the option chosen by the majority. The ratings are categorized as satire, biased, malicious, clickbait and user-generated content. Since this process is still faulty, shifting the extension to the blockchain network will create a completely transparent environment.
Williams said, “What we want to do, and where the blockchain comes in, is we want to move that over to incorporate users’ feedback as well …They can say ‘hey I don’t feel like this site should be listed as biased because whatever’. And we’re going to use that feedback to make the product better.”
After “decoupling” the system from the centralized sources, TrustedNews will be transferred to the Ethereum blockchain. Using MetaCert protocol, users will get rewarded with MetaCert tokens for submitting their feedback. People who will use this platform to damage or manipulate the ratings won’t be rewarded and the system will be safe from “bad actors”.
However, this is the beta stage at the moment, and Eyeo is simply testing the extension to see the results. “I want to stress, this is a first, humble attempt — this is a beta — we want to see how this goes. We want people to give us honest feedback on it. And we want to improve upon that. So it’s not merely a matter of where the labels are. But also is this what people want? We think it’s a good idea but it is, again, just a start,” said Williams.