Polish-based startup Userfeeds is developing a system to help make the algorithms that rank and promote online news transparent and trustworthy.
With fake news an ongoing challenge for media platforms, users and the wider world, Polish startup Userfeeds is developing new algorithms to help create transparency around the sources of news. The company sees a variety of current online dilemmas, including ad-blocking and targeting as well as moderation, as information ranking problems. The most negative effect of fake news is that the cost is absorbed by the user, regardless of how much validity he or she gives to each piece of information. On the other hand, as the current systems stand, the producers of content and distributors of it receive only benefits.
Userfeeds seeks to redress that imbalance by applying the transparency and strength of online currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to the provision of information. The company is developing a system that would require information providers and distributors to prove, via third party algorithms, the strength of each individual claim. Because online tokens used in such systems are visible and accessible to anyone, everyone will be able to contribute to a ranking, which is what ultimately grabs users’ attention. Having just raised seed funding, Userfeeds is at the proof-of-concept stage and is encouraging interested parties to get involved in testing.
The transparency of blockchain systems is attracting attention from industries as wide-ranging as freelance marketplaces and international shipping companies. How could predominantly analogue fields of work take advantage of the strength of such verification processes?