With blockchain technology, you can’t hide online anymore.
If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.One of the best places to manipulate opinion is online. There’s no way to verify if it’s real, or if it was planted by a business to drum up business. All I need to do is create a unique identity out of thin air along with social media accounts.
I can do this repeatedly, creating shell accounts. All with the purpose of manipulating opinion.
However, blockchain technology is looking to change that.
Blockchain could add a bit of trust and transparency into online identities.
In March 2017, the Sage Auto Group agreed to pay more than $3.6 million for return to customers. They were settling with the FTC on charges of deceptive and unfair sales and financing practices, deceptive advertising, and deceptive online reviews.
In short, they planted fake reviews to drum up business.
Someone even manipulated TripAdvisor’s ratings system, turning a “shed” into a high-ranking restaurant in London.
But with blockchain, there may be ways to track whether a person is real. And if they actually ate dinner at a particular restaurant, or had their dog groomed at a particular salon. It will allow for quantifiable data in the chain, which can be verified by others.
In an age of wild online security issues, identification is essential. Imagine a system that could create a digital map of a real person, almost like an online ID. Birth certificates, home addresses, even divorce decrees can all be kept on the blockchain.
It’s already transforming other industries, such as works of art.
All Public Art for example uses the technology to trace the origins of art work.
Then again, there are downside risks to giving up anonymity.
We must also be aware of what it would force us to give up, too.
Anonymity allows people to express even the most hateful of reviews, or say things they wouldn’t normally say. Soon, such a conversation will take center stage as AI bots write reviews that are quite convincing, too.
Then again, blockchain technology would increase trustworthiness online.
Perhaps one day, everything we read on the Internet will actually be true.
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