Global communications giant Verizon Commutations Inc. Friday announced the launch of “Full Transparency,” a blockchain-based, open-source newsroom product designed to use distributed ledger technology.
It’s designed to help raise the bar for corporate transparency and accountability when delivering news to consumers and businesses. With Full Transparency, any news releases will be tagged with cryptographic wrappers that will be linked to a blockchain resource that can prove that the text of the release being read has not been tampered with or changed from its original source meaning that it can be shown to be the original, intended version.
According to the company, a lack of transparency in communication has the potential to undercut corporate credibility. Citing the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, nearly 60% of consumers globally believe that the media they consume is contaminated with untrustworthy information.
Full Transparency’s goal is to help change consumer perception of how corporate newsrooms hold themselves accountable to their readers.
Official news releases that incorporate Full Transparency are tracked on the blockchain ledger, so news releases or statements can be treated as authoritative and intended to reflect the corporate voice. All releases from the newsroom would be secured cryptographically, as a result, all subsequent changes could then be tracked and represented as well on the blockchain, including edits for typos, clarity or errors.
“Full Transparency [is] a product that, in its own quiet way, can help ensure corporate accountability and trust,” said Jim Gerace, chief communications officer at Verizon. “We invite organizations across the world that prize transparency as much as we do to adopt blockchain-verified communication practices.”
In a similar bid for transparency amid disinformation, Italy’s top news reporting agency Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata announced a similar endeavor earlier this year also using blockchain technology. The reasons were similar: Customers of newspapers have become disenchanted with the recycled news purporting to be releases from the agency, but lacked quality in reporting or included fake or dangerous news.
Although blockchain technology is best known for its association with currencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum, it also has applications in supply chains, voting, finance, document verification and more.
To build out its new transparency ecosystem, Verizon partnered with digital marketing agency Huge LLC, enterprise blockchain application company MadNetwork and blockchain advertising company AdLedger.
“Blockchain has long been associated with cryptocurrency, but that is just the beginning of what it can do,” said Adam Helfgott, project lead at MadNetwork. “Verizon’s approach is exploring how blockchain can be a critical part of enterprise software at scale, providing validation and authentication in the digital world.”
Full Transparency will be an extension of Citizen Verizon, the company’s vision for promoting a future for social advancement and of being an ally of the community and the planet to create the best social and environmental impact it can.
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