Verizon Turns to Blockchain to Fight Rampant On-line Misinformation

Verizon announced this week that it will begin recording all communications it publishes in a blockchain ledger to help combat misinformation online.

The project with the name “Complete Transparency” logs all statements and press releases of the operator as well as all changes that it could subsequently make, invariably in a virtual open source ledger. Verizon is also encouraging other companies to follow suit by integrating the tool it developed in collaboration with agency Huge, the blockchain consortium AdLedger and the blockchain-based adtech company MadNetwork.

The airline said it developed the project out of concerns about the widespread dissemination of misinformation online and the suspicion it created among consumers. Such fake news has been a particular concern of Verizon over the past few months as conspiracy theories have spread about the false role 5G networks played in the spread of coronavirus.

“As a technology company that literally connects people with information, we are excited to bring Full Transparency to market – a product that can, in its own quiet way, help ensure corporate accountability and trust,” said Jim Gerace , Verizon’s chief communications officer, said in a statement. “We invite organizations around the world that value transparency as much as we do to use blockchain-verified communication practices.”

Blockchain was first developed as a virtual ledger for tracking cryptocurrency transactions. However, some companies have since found other uses for the underlying technology as a secure, decentralized database system, ranging from tracking supply chains to logging e-commerce inventory. While the initial hype about its transformative power has waned more recently, companies like Walmart, IBM, and Overstock continue to use it in some form.

Verizon announced earlier this year that it would integrate blockchain technology as part of the introduction of new tools for identity management and cybersecurity. The Full Transparency project is also part of Citizen Verizon, the airline’s long-term plan to improve corporate responsibility and promote corporate social responsibility initiatives.

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