In today’s world, internet is the primary information source for almost everything. We are used to fetch information and clear out our ambiguities by googling everything all the time. Like for instance, people look up for reviews before going to a fast food restaurant for the first time. Let it be a touring destination or a medical facility, we surely want to look it up over the internet and scrutinize its essence with the help of online reviews and ratings. Shortly, we are so dependent on the internet in one way or another.
Although our dependence on internet has opened up many good prospects, it has also caused birth of deceiving and misleading paths. Many masterminds have been making good use of our habit of browsing things before using them. We blindfold our senses while trusting the reviews and accepting the feedback as an authentic one, thus leaving the necessary skepticism way behind.
People have been indulged in building fake profiles for so many reasons. Apart for false reviews that would be good for their businesses, people have been using the same tactic for politics, film industries, sports and news.
Almost over 80% of adults in United States, who look for reviews before buying any product for the first time, are affected by these foul practices. A study showed that almost half of those adults trusted the reviews.
Nathan Pettijohn confirmed the existence of fake identities by sharing one fake identity created by himself. He created it under the name of Ivan Stravensky. He mentioned that Ivan Stravensky was used to review an Argentinian restaurant in Birmingham and that review was later found ‘useful’ by one person. Despite the fact that Ivan didn’t exist, the author proved that his review was influential and valuable in misleading other people.
In past, a similar fictional character, Melvin Redick was created by Russians to develop an anti-Clinton propaganda to Facebook while Hillary Clinton was contesting for elections. The character was efficiently used to promote DCLeaks’ site with a Facebook post that claimed to reveal Hillary Clinton, George Soros and many others. The attempt made with this fake identity is marked as the first Russian electronic conspiracy of its kind in history by many. It is particularly regarded as ‘an unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy.’
One solution: blockchain
This explains that problems caused by fake identities range from misleading individuals to large scale propaganda that swindle masses. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate these fake identities to prevent any further damages and to eradicate this problem completely, blockchain can be trusted to serve as the best possible solution, worthy of attention.
Blockchain technology can be beneficial to track a person and ensure whether he ate dinner at a restaurant or not. Its application can tell if the person rating the product has actually purchased it or not. So, answers to all the ‘ifs’ can be dealt effectively by blockchain.
This will be possible with blockchain as it uses blocks to store data of all kinds. This block is further added to a chain of blocks but before the addition process takes place, every block is required to undergo some verification. Once through with that, the blocks are securely added to the chain. The information contained in it is preserved as it can’t be altered after the block becomes part of the chain.
Specific blocks, containing information of a person such as his online ID, birth records, home addresses and university certificates, could be created to develop a system where a digital map of a person can be constructed and then maintained on the blockchain. In this way, the person can be tracked throughout the day. The system can be enhanced by involving IoT to collect all necessary data for checking the location of a person. Furthermore, customers’ shopping details can be verified and confirmed through their payment data. Consequently, blockchain can put an end to fake identities by authenticating first the existence of the person, and then his location, activity etc.
Some organizations have initiated the use of blockchain due to the transparency offered by it. At the moment, All Public Arts has employed blockchain technology to authenticate the origin and ownership of artwork. Startups, such as Revain and Zapit, have initiated awarding customers with cryptocurrency tokens if they post a genuine review. These types of startups are expected to encompass blockchain technology exclusively to verify the reviews as well rather then just awarding the true reviews.
Blockchain has opened the doors of innovation by offering prosperous development against fake news and reviews. Together with a minor degree of decentralization in the system, blockchain can effectively end the tyranny of spurious and bogus information on web that is outwitting many internet users.