As first reported by CoinDesk, the New York Times has confirmed that it is applying blockchain technology to help combat the threat of fake news that has been plaguing the media cycle in recent years. For now, it appears that the publication plans to use blockchain technology to verify the authenticity of photographs that are used in its stories and other news. While this limited application has not yet expanded to actual content, this is an encouraging first step towards the widespread use of blockchain to create a safer environment for consumers and more efficient process for businesses and organizations.
According to CoinDesk, the New York Times plans to run their blockchain experiment from July 2019 until the end of the year to test the viability of such a system. Their blockchain authentication system stores identifying image identification information including shot location, photographer, and editing information. This identifying information would travel with the photograph and allow an organization to track usage online and in social media.
The success of this program would mean a lot for both the news industry and the blockchain sector. Using blockchain, we could potentially slow or eliminate the unauthorized usage of images or misleading news stories published on the back of edited and altered images. This would change the news industry as we know it and allow publications to protect both their assets and the public. For blockchain, a successful testing period would force more publications and other organizations spanning all industries to take a more serious look at blockchain technology and examine the ways that it might help them.
The interest in blockchain technology by a major company is the next step in a multi-year, worldwide infatuation with blockchain applications and sets the stage for increased interest in the technology.