New York Times to fight fake news using IBM’s blockchain tech

The New York Times Company has announced a new project, aiming to fight fake news using IBM’s blockchain technology.

Initiated by the publisher’s research and development team, “The News Provenance Project,” will first focus on photojournalism as photos can be “easily manipulated” and can have “serious” effects, according to a blog post published Tuesday.

The first phase of the project will run through late 2019 to design a proof-of-concept (PoC) using Hyperledger Fabric, a permissioned and private blockchain network, in collaboration with IBM Garage. The PoC aims to provide readers with a way to determine the source of a photo or whether it had been edited after it was published, per the blog post.

After its learnings from the first phase, The New York Times said it will later explore the technology for journalism as a whole. The publisher has also invited other news organizations to join its initiative.

The New York Times was preparing to explore blockchain technology since March of this year, when it posted a job opening to hire someone to lead its blockchain efforts, but later quickly removed the opening.

Last year, Forbes also announced that it is working with Civil, a blockchain marketplace for journalism, to upload some of its content onto the Civil network.