Blockchain Application: Can it Help to End Fake News

While fake news has been around for years, the problem rose to new levels during Trump’s presidency. A spot check on Collins Dictionary indicated that “fake news” was the word of the year in 2017. Now, new technologies are being used to try and bring out the facts for information provided in the media. Civil project is based on blockchain technology and targets cleaning up the journalism niche to sieve out lies and ingrain credibility. 

The Decentralized Marketplace for New and Sustainable Journalism

According to a report released by, Civil’s creators consider the project a decentralized marketplace for responsible and sustainable journalism. The goal of the project is to use blockchain technology to improve the credibility of journalists’ work and punish those who go against its code of ethics.

Already, the project has received huge support, such as the USD 2 million that the European Journalism Center granted. Ethereum’s co-founder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys venture capital also offered USD 5 million.  

How Does the Project Work?

Like other blockchain-based projects, Civil expects to launch a crypto known as CVL through an initial coin offering (ICO). The project has a large team of up to 100 journalists representing 15 news firms. 

Civil plans to run using a decentralized vetting model to question and confirm reports that are done by its journalists. The plan is pretty straightforward, but getting it down to work is what might be challenging. According to Mathews Iles, the project white paper indicates that the solution is creating a new sort of economy where advertisers are removed so that journalists can directly publish their work. 

Today, most mobile and web applications employ a free-to-use system. Civil will deviate from this by applying the CVL token at every stage, from paying writers to charging readers. For newsrooms, it will be possible to use CVL to be part of the vetting process. Anyone who indicates that the writer/reporter did not meet the international standards will have to wager a CVL token for the report to be evaluated.

Civil is working towards a world that is free from fake news, but this remains largely theoretical. Mathew Ingram, a Columbia journalism review writer, indicates that the project is ambitious and pretty risky. Will Civil create its own ecosystem or be strong enough to incentivize participants? Only time will tell. 

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