Blockchain: Securing PurpleState & Dealing with “Fake News”

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

One of the most difficult aspects of creating the PurpleState™ platform is ensuring its security. In this post-2016 era, the social media platforms that enabled both Obama and Trump to be elected are under fire due to serious concerns over the use of users' information. “Fake news” and trolling within these platforms have also presented new challenges for anyone looking to build a network in the social media space.

Blockchain technology presents real solutions to these problems. Although many are aware of this distributed network technology due to the explosion of cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, a brief primer might help to explain how it can make PurpleState™ safer and easier to trust.

The main advantage of blockchain is that all the information on a blockchain network is stored in a database that is not in one central location for hackers to access. The data is hosted by a multitude of computers simultaneously, making that information easily verifiable and available to anyone on the internet as it is.

Unlike the Internet as we know it, Blockchain stores "blocks" of data that are the same throughout its network which means that the information stored can't be controlled by any one source and there is no point of failure within the network. This also means that it is essentially incorruptible because altering any unit of information on the blockchain would mean using a huge amount of computing power to override the entire network.

Blockchain is effectively a network made of “nodes” or computers connected to the blockchain network using software that performs the task of validating and relaying transactions. The network of users help to manage the network on an individual basis as opposed to the network being managed by central entity. These users are generally incentivized to participate in the network because they have the ability to collect cryptocurrencies.

Of course, BitCoin remains the most widely-known example of blockchain technology but there are many potential applications that could transform how society operates. The security made possible by a decentralized social network presents an opportunity for a legitimate independent process for political participation that is uncorrupted by "fake news" and "trolls."

Recent reporting indicates that the blockchain solution to fake news doesn’t require the third party fact-checkers that the reigning social media giants have partnered with. Companies using blockchain to work on this issue are looking at a variety of approaches to the problem, including AI and machine learning. The most promising approach appears to be economic incentives for users to rank content correctly.

Although the platform can be launched on a standard social network, utilizing blockchain technology to reward users with cryptocurrency created in an Initial Coin Offering (I.C.O.) would enhance the sharing of valid content and the rating of potential independent candidates. In addition, users will be able to participate securely with the knowledge that there is no centralized system to be hacked. Our intention is to deal with trolling by verifying user identities to ensure that users who run for office or rate candidates and policies are registered voters. Blockchain security will significantly strengthen our ability to do that.

It is also important to note that part of PurpleState™’s content rating system and algorithm specifications is a feature called PurpleFacts™ that is designed to weed out the kind of erroneous and misleading information we know as fake news.

The PurpleState™ initiative can be defined as a people-driven effort to establish a digital, multimedia platform designed to allow users to select or run as independent candidates.

If you support our initiative and want to get involved, go to our Get Involved page and find out more about how you can help.

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