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Blockchain, Journalism, and Truth Consensus

October 9, 2018

Blockchain, Journalism, and Truth Consensus

Today, Forbes announced that they were going to partner with Civil, a journalistic token economy. After reading the article, it got me thinking. How can blockchain help journalism?

Civil is a token economy that aims to allow users to pay, read, and govern news sites connected to the blockchain. I did a quick search on a competitor, but I came up kind of empty. There are other projects that are close, but in a different field. What they are proposing is news sites can attach themselves to the blockchain, and every time an article is viewed, payment for that article is automatically transferred. But how do they intend for this to work, and make the space better?

First depending on the site, it could decentralize journalists. The blockchain will allow the journalist to retain ownership of their articles. allowing them to shop the article around. So if an article written conflicts with one site, they are free to shop it to another, possibly… This part I am assuming based on what I read in regards to what they are proposing. It was a little unclear how payment would work exactly. If you’re a writer for one site as staff vs. a freelance writer, that is going to involve several different pay situations. From pay per click, to a buyout, to salary on staff. None the less, I do believe blockchain tech can easily handle the payments based on individual needs. Just not sure exactly how Civil works this as of right now.

Secondly sites can become self funded! Will this happen? I think it is highly possible but that would depend on the values of the site. Each site could possibly run without the need for advertisers based on how many read the article. Since you would need Civil token to pay and read each article, Civil would require each reader to pay a fraction of a cent per article. How much money exactly will be determined once everything is up and running. By the way, the plan is to have the everything up and running by the end of the month.


Finally the part that I liked was you can help govern the site. If you truly feel the site is in violation of guidelines set forth by the blockchain, and should be removed from the blockchain, you can call it to a vote. This won’t be cheap though, because $1,000 worth of tokens is what’s needed to do this. The public will vote, and depending on the outcome participants get a piece of the funds put up. I hope being factual and open is a criteria, because then maybe we as a community can squash out fake news.

Is this necessary? I think so. Facebook and Twitter didn’t act fast enough, and are still lagging when it comes to taking down fake news. If we the people can control that, it could be done faster.

Also a big reason why news is run the way it is today is because we are getting used to free news. Free is never free, someone has to pay and that’s done by way of advertisements. I’m definitely for advertisements, but if your sponsors are dictating the news is then we are going to get what we pay for. Blockchain could allow for honest, trustworthy journalists to remain unbiased and still able to earn a guaranteed (key word) living. Again this is depending on how a writer can submit a story.

What do you think of the blockchain and journalism pair? Is it needed, or is this just another grab at a slice of the blockchain pie? Will Civil be the one to achieve this right out of the gate? Comment below, email us, tweet us, and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review The Coin Boys Poscast.