A Picture Tells A Thousand Words (But Are Those Words True?)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will establish a new taskforce to counter “online disinformation campaigns”, in a bid to further clamp down on social media activities.

 

How Can Governments Use Current Day Technology To Verify The Authenticity Of A Photograph?

While the war against disinformation is an important one – we all know how much fake news is rampant in online media platforms – equally important is people’s right to privacy and freedom of speech…

How could content creators and governments use current day technology to verify the authenticity of a photograph and its accompanying text, for example, without crushing free speech and the voice of the people?

 

Food For Worrying Thought

According to this article at least, a state-led intention to implement an online taskforce for the purpose of ostensibly countering disinformation is really a way of ‘targeting critical thinkers’.

This notion has a distinct Orwellian ring to it and could easily be interpreted as the government crushing any voice that disagrees with its self-serving narrative.  That’s food for worrying thought… How to overcome such extremes?

 

Using Blockchain Technology And Artificial Intelligence

Here’s an intelligent combination of tech that can effectively help stop the spread of disinformation by ensuring that posts made on Whizzl cannot be altered once published. In this case it is more the fact that posts on Whizzl cant be changed. Once a news got announced with text and geo-tagged photo, it can’t be changed. The backend shows when and where the photo has been taken. And the text of the announcement via the verified channel can’t be edited once published.

 

Photos Taken Using The Whizzl In-App Camera Are Geo-Tagged

The Whizzl app has been built so that photos taken using the in-app camera are geo-tagged (meaning the location of the photo can be verified back-end), with the date and time of the photo created recorded back-end in the app as well. Users cannot delete photos from their posts.

The text accompanying the announcement via a certified channel on the app cannot be edited once published.  This means that users become very clear on the message and the imagery they share, since it’s going to stay online.

In the event of resolving a complaint or feedback, the rating and the process of solving that feedback will be stored on the blockchain.  In this way, if there is ever any future dispute as to the action taken to resolve the original issue, the public can always click on the link of the original post and witness the resolution process transparent on the blockchain.

 

Artificial Intelligence Will Be Incorporated Into The Picture

Eventually also artificial intelligence (AI) will be incorporated into the picture (literally) to help identify and automatically name the contents of the photo.

Imagine you’re taking a photo of a broken lift (link here to Whizzl Feedback blog) using the Whizzl in-app camera.  The idea is that eventually AI will automatically identify the lift and suggest this category type so that it’s easier for users to communicate in their posts. USE LIFT PHOTO?

 

People Can Verify If It’s Wrong

Blockchain technology includes location and time-stamping when a photo is taken, which provides authentic proof of real photographs since no changes can be made to images. If there has been some tampering, there are various ways to identify its inauthenticity, depending on the way the tech structure is created.

 

Government Could Start Using Whizzl For Its Own Announcements

Government could start using Whizzl for its own announcements, as currently there are no reliable sources for proving or disproving the information presented in a photograph accompanying an article or post. This is regardless of whether that article is written by a government or a non-government agency, so these tools could prove useful to ensure news being presented can be verified, at least in its pictorial form.

 

Whizzl Can Minimise Fake Photos But Can’t Really Stop Fake News

Whizzl can minimise fake photos but can’t really stop fake news at this stage because the information in an article or post is always written by a human hand, which means pretty much that any story can be made up if it lacks verified references.

But once blockchain is implemented in the Whizzl app, together with its geo-tagging feature reducing fake photography, then we’ll be at least 1000 words closer to the truth!

 


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