The Brazilian presidential race is heating up, and the candidates have different ideas about how to use blockchain technology.
REDE party candidate Marina Silva used the Decred blockchain to create an immutable and transparent record of donations made to her campaign. New Party candidate João Amoêdo stated that if he were elected, he would implement a "Digital Government" and give Brazilians an electronic identity that could be enabled through blockchain technology.
As the Brazilian presidential race heads into its second phase, Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party has decided to use blockchain technology to discredit what he is calling "fake news" reports concerning his ideas, polices, and personal life. According to Haddad's website, his proposals for the presidency have been altered and changed in an effort to manipulate voters. To combat the manipulation of his ideas, Haddad decided to put his 13-point government plan on the Decred blockchain to create an unalterable record unable to be used for malicious purposes.
Hadad's use of blockchain for this purpose mirrors a larger trend to leverage the technology to counter the spread of false information. In February of this year, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin suggested that a prediction market be added to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook wherein participants staked Ether and voted to decide whether a post was a scam or legitimate news. If the consensus were that a post was "fake news," those who voted in favor of the post would have their Ether taken away as punishment and vice versa for the posts found to be legitimate.
A few companies are already trying to use the technology to fight misinformation, too. Verasity and Civil are two blockchain companies hoping to incentivize users to participate in policing the legitimacy and ethics of media content.
The hurdle, however, to create an effective distributed enforcement mechanism to identify misinformation is that it would rely on people, and the public has proven that it is not very good at differentiating between fake and real news. Additionally, people would have to care enough about getting rid of fake news to risk their hard-earned money to prove or disprove a certain post or news article.