The truth is under assault. According to a study published in Science it takes the truth about six times as long as falsehoods to reach 1,500 people. The problem is that online misinformation and real fake news (not to be confused with fake fake news) often hides in plain sight. Online information appears to be mass but isn’t public in the traditional sense, as most information today is delivered privately screen by screen. Unfortunately we are defenseless against this onslaught of misinformation. As humans we are wired to be susceptible to both novelty and information that confirms our biases — founded or not — which is perhaps why 47% of Americans say it’s difficult to know if information they receive is true.
Some experts have suggested that when online platforms employ visual cues, such as badges or symbols to take “accuracy stances,” it helps users to be more discerning about what they believe and ultimately share. But at the moment there aren’t nearly enough tools to help determine what’s trustworthy.
Verizon and Huge believe in the sanctity of facts and data. They’ve collaborated to highlight the importance of trust and integrity in the business world by building Full Transparency, a radical transparency technology product. Full Transparency is a decentralized record book for corporate newsrooms and media outlets to publish and verify news built on the public blockchain.
Two main traits make a blockchain verifiably transparent and useful in a newsroom setting:
Full Transparency documents all changes made to Verizon’s news content. From minor linguistic edits to statistical updates, each change is recorded and timestamped, making it easily verifiable. The transparency technology also:
Verizon’s official news statements are released and stored on the Full Transparency blockchain, where they are available to media, analysts, investors, government legislators, technology platforms, and the public at large. Every time Verizon publishes or changes a piece of content in its corporate newsroom, all details are recorded and stored in a digital block (Ethereum) with its own unique code, becoming a permanent part of the shared ledger. Verizon and Huge designed and engineered an interface and badging system that makes it easy for journalists and analysts to fact-check — and for the public know that Verizon stands behind the information it shares online.
To ensure that Full Transparency is an objective product that can be standardized across industries, Verizon and Huge tapped a number of partners to bring it to life. Our crypto engineering platform partner was Madhive. We collaborated with AdLedger, a nonprofit consortium that is building rules and standards for the application of blockchains and cryptography in media and advertising. Verizon IT provided security, architecture and technical guidance as well as setting up the internal hardware and infrastructure for Huge’s engineering team to build out Full Transparency.
There are no similar products that allow a corporate newsroom to showcase and highlight its commitment to transparency. Full Transparency is an innovative digital product and an example of what we call transparency technology. Our cross-functional, global team drove the holistic initiative from concept through to branding, design, engineering, and go-to-market activations. Launched just five days before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the initiative has been featured in more than 30 articles across technology, business, marketing and PR, generating 800 million media impressions, and ultimately demonstrating how technology can help organizations take a stand for themselves and their audiences.