COVID-19: Italian News Agency, EY, Combat Fake News with Blockchain Technology

COVID-19: Italian News Agency, EY, Combat Fake News with Blockchain Technology

The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA), Italy’s major news agency has joined forces with Ernst & Young to develop a blockchain-based news tracking and authentication system. The solution is aimed at curbing the spread of fake news, while also uniting news publishers, web agencies and other participants in the journalism ecosystem reports Ledger Insights on April 7, 2020.

ANSA Taps Blockchain Technology

In an attempt to curb the dissemination of fake news and significantly reduce panic at a time when the world is working round the clock to find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy’s leading news agency has rolled out a blockchain-based news provenance system.

Dubbed ANSAcheck, the blockchain system was developed in collaboration with Ernst & Young and it allows readers to verify the origin of the news published on ANSA platforms, its affiliated publications, social media platforms and more.

The ANSAcheck news authentication system is built upon the EY OpsChain Traceability solution which is powered by the Ethereum smart contracts blockchain. The team says the solution makes it possible for readers to see the primary source of the news they are reading plus its entire history.

What’s more, ANSA has hinted that the solution will also enable it to easily keep track of its news and how it’s being used by its partners, while also fostering unity between all stakeholders in the journalism industry, including online news agencies, publishers, and others.

How ANSAcheck Works

Per sources close to the matter, each time a news piece is drafted by the agency, a hash or digital fingerprint of the article is created and stored on a distributed ledger. And once the story goes live on the ANSA website or other platforms, the hash of the published text will be authenticated to find out whether it conforms with the original hash previously recorded on the blockchain.

Commenting on the launch ANSAcheck, Stefano de Alessandri, CEO of ANSA stated categorically that bad actors have been disseminating fake news to the public via the ANSA platform in recent days, however, with the integration of blockchain technology, he firmly believes that the menace will stop.

In his words:

We have been witnessing the fraudulent use of our brand by rogue actors to give truth to false news. From today onwards, we can now track the origin of the news, while also being able to support the professionalism of our journalists. This is an important step in the fight against fake news.

It’s worth noting that ANSA is not the only news platform that has turned to blockchain technology in recent times in the fight against fake news. 

Earlier in July 2019 BTCManager reported on the New York Times’ proof of concept (PoC) which aims to fight fake news with blockchain technology.

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel is a graduate of Mass Communication and Media Studies. He joined the blockchain movement in 2016 when a friend of his introduced him to an investment platform accepting bitcoin. He has never looked back since then. Emmanuel believes the world needs real change and freedom from poverty. He sees crypto and the underlying distributed ledger technology as the catalyst to a better future for all.