Social media has become the battlefield for the opposing candidates in Brazil’s 2018 elections. With more than 120 million users in the country, WhatsApp has found itself flooded with false information and conspiracy theories.
Users and voters have been caught up in a web of lies and misinformation about the Workers’ Party candidate via group messages sent to millions of accounts, contributing to a fall in the candidate’s popularity.
The solution: Creating an environment where individuals can exercise their right of reply
In many countries around the world, Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, has partnered with fact-checking agencies to evaluate the veracity of information arising in the network. But the efforts made by the social giant are evidently not enough to stop the spread of fake news.
One essential point is to enable victims of fake claims to have a relevant space to tell their truth.
“We are not able to draw a line between what is fake news and what is not, but what we can do is show both sides to a story, giving more detailed information about that story,” says digital reputation and digital activist Matteo Flora, whose new venture Right of Reply offers disruptive solutions for online reputation problems.
Right of Reply is developing a series of blockchain-powered applications to be integrated by online media, which will allow any of its users mentioned in online content to reply directly in a timely manner. Such a platform empowers both readers and personalities, because once provided the multiple facets of a same story, users will be better equipped to judge the truth of a story for themselves.
Right of Reply is based on a unique, disruptive, patented, and yet simple idea: RoR places an overlaying reputation layer upon the internet, newspapers and social media, so that the comment is embedded in the article posts and can be seen by everyone.
“A person mentioned or cited has their reply embedded directly within the content which cites or mentions them. Readers can access the reply directly, allowing the reply to have the same positioning, timing and relevance as the original content.”
“Thanks to blockchain, we can now directly address the problem of fake news. There is no need for third parties to defend or act as guarantor or solution provider anymore, as any individual or enterprise now has the opportunity and the power of action directly at the source,” says Stefania Barbaglio from Right of Reply.
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