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Can Blockchain Combat Fake News?

May 21, 2024
6 min read

This blog post will cover:

  • The Fake News Problem
  • Blockchain and Information Verification 
  • Case Studies
  • The Future of Blockchain in Combating Fake News
  • Conclusion 

In today's digital era, the fight against fake news has become increasingly urgent, leading to a quest for new and inventive remedies. Within this pursuit, blockchain technology stands out as a promising solution, possessing distinctive qualities that may revolutionize the dissemination of false information. This article aims to delve into the capabilities of fake news detection using blockchain, examining its characteristics, obstacles, and prospects for the future.

The Fake News Problem

False information, also known as fake news or disinformation, has the power to manipulate facts, distort public perceptions, and sow confusion. It undermines democratic processes by influencing electoral outcomes and policymaking. The rise of social media platforms in the digital era has amplified this issue, allowing fake news to spread rapidly. With widespread internet access, individuals can now easily create and distribute news content, blurring the distinction between professional journalism and user-generated material. As a result, consumers are bombarded with vast amounts of information, making it challenging to discern between credible news sources and misinformation.

Moreover, fake news often appeals to emotions, making it more likely to be shared and spread. Algorithms used by social media platforms can exacerbate this problem by promoting content that garners strong reactions, further spreading fake news. Fake news can also be used as a tool for information warfare, with state and non-state actors using it to influence public opinion, sow discord, and undermine trust in institutions. 

Famous real-life examples of fake news are:

  • Fake emergency call information: a graphic posted on Facebook claimed that dialing 55 during an emergency call would allow police to track the caller’s location, even if the caller isn’t able to speak. However, the National Police Chief’s Council clarified that while it is possible to trace landlines to a specific location, police "can’t get exact locations from mobile phone calls because of things like tower blocks or densely populated areas".
  • Misinformation about Presidential endorsement: during the 2016 US presidential elections, a false news story circulated claiming that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. This story was widely shared on social media, despite being completely untrue.

Blockchain and Information Verification 

Blockchain technology has the potential to verify information and fight fake news effectively. Its decentralized nature means that no single entity can control the information stored on it. The immutability of blockchain guarantees that once data is recorded, it cannot be changed, creating a reliable record of events. Many projects, like the New York Times’ ‘The News Provenance Project’, are already leveraging blockchain to combat misinformation in journalism.

Below are several methods in which blockchain technology can aid in verifying information to combat fake news:

  • Immutable record: blockchain offers an unchangeable record of digital data, making it extremely challenging to alter or erase information once it's included in the blockchain. This feature enables the verification of news articles' authenticity and the tracking of their origins.
  • Decentralization: blockchain operates on a decentralized network, meaning that no single entity has complete control over the entire network. This decentralized structure can prevent the dissemination of fake news by eliminating centralized points where information can be manipulated or controlled.
  • Transparency: every transaction conducted on the blockchain is transparent and traceable back to its source. This transparency facilitates the identification of news article sources and aids in verifying their credibility.
  • Smart contracts: blockchain utilizes smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with predefined terms directly encoded into the blockchain. Smart contracts can automate the verification process, ensuring that news sources meet specific criteria before publishing articles.
  • Tokenization: blockchain employs tokenization, where digital tokens represent assets or pieces of information. Tokenization can incentivize and reward individuals for verifying news accuracy, such as by issuing tokens to users who correctly identify fake news.

While these methods showcase the potential of blockchain fake news verification, it's essential to recognize that the technology alone is not a complete solution for combating fake news. Effective strategies must integrate blockchain with other methodologies and technologies for optimal results.

Case Studies

Multiple examples demonstrate the efficacy of blockchain in addressing the issue of fake news.

Deep Trust Alliance

The Deep Trust Alliance is a worldwide coalition dedicated to combating deepfakes and misinformation through policy and technology initiatives. Its goal is to unite key stakeholders in the fight against disinformation by establishing technology standards, best practices, and collaboration tools. Through blockchain-based recording of licensing details, the Deep Trust Alliance facilitates automated identification of licensing terms for all content by any interested party.


PO.ET is a platform based on blockchain technology, designed to establish a universal ledger for tracking intellectual property rights, with the goal of combating fake news. Through the creation of a decentralized ledger to document ownership details of digital media assets, PO.ET facilitates automated and secure interactions between content owners and publishers. This allows for the buying, selling, or syndication of content via the blockchain, streamlining processes that have historically been complex and risky in digital content distribution.


Userfeeds is developing a ranking framework for content in public spaces, like social news feeds and search engines, based on blockchain and token incentives. They aim to give cryptokitties a voice by recording licensing information on the blockchain. This enables automated discovery of licensing terms for any font, by anyone. It also allows tracking of licensing violations by font creators using the blockchain. This approach can be extended to other forms of digital content, thereby combating fake news.

The Future of Blockchain in Combating Fake News

In the future, blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize how we tackle fake news. One advantage is its ability to conduct real-time fact-checking, verifying information authenticity as it spreads, thus curbing the spread of false information. Additionally, it can help in blockchain-based identity verification, foster transparency in the media landscape by creating unchangeable records of news stories, holding media outlets accountable for the information they disseminate.

Yet, integrating blockchain to combat fake news poses challenges. Firstly, widespread adoption requires public comprehension of blockchain's mechanisms and advantages. Moreover, navigating intricate legal matters like privacy laws and freedom of speech adds complexity. These factors emphasize the importance of a meticulous approach to blockchain implementation in tackling misinformation.


Indeed, blockchain's role in combating fake news is significant, but it's essential to acknowledge that it's not a cure-all solution. Rather, it serves as one component among many in the fight against misinformation. Therefore, it requires coordinated efforts from various stakeholders, including technologists, journalists, policymakers, and the public, to leverage its potential effectively and address the complex challenges posed by fake news.

SimpleSwap reminds you that this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advice. All purchases and cryptocurrency investments are your own responsibility.

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