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The average news consumer today views social media as the primary source of information. A study of Reuters revealed that 63% of Indians count social media as their main source of information.

In such a world, Mohith Agadi – a digital marketer, SEO specialist and blogger – has developed a strict regime of fact-checking almost everything. It started with making sure there was no misinformation in his articles. Now he constantly checks the images, videos or news articles he sees online or those shared by his friends.

The problem eventually got so close to him that he set up a company to verify information on a large scale.

Protocol of factswhich he co-founded earlier this year with co-founder Damodar Kalyan, leverages blockchain technology to create a decentralized fact-checking system and verifiability layer.

“We want to be a fact-checking Wikipedia and get contributors from all over the world,” Mohith said. The story deciphered.

Fact Protocol offers the opportunity for any user to become a validator, as long as they can perform fact checking accurately. All that is required is following the guidelines to the letter or having experience in the field.

A Beginners Guide to Blockchain Technology
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Skip to fact check

The process is quite simple. When someone shares a news article or piece of content, fact checkers take care of validating it. This process involves searching the web for reliable sources of information relevant to the content. After that, the fact checkers proceed to validate it. Once this operation is complete, the information is stored on the blockchain, creating a traceable record that anyone can verify.

The founders argue that the benefits of a decentralized network also extend to preventing the concentration of power, maintaining the process of democratic validation, eliminating bias, and ensuring full transparency.

“The transaction timestamps and hashes for the content are present on-chain, and everything is censorship-resistant,” adds Mohith.

However, storing a record of the content on-chain should not be confused with reposting the content. “We do not republish content on our platform, but create a permanent on-chain record of it, as well as a record of fact checks performed and validators for the same,” Mohith explains.

He adds that it can help readers compare the original version with an updated version or potentially falsified information.

Fact Protocol is currently working on the final stages of this fact-checking, with the platform expected to launch in the coming weeks. As it evolves, the core team will move away from selecting fact checkers and allow existing validators to review new candidates.

The fact-checking project is named 2FA Newswhile the division working on blockchain and Web3 elements is called Block quest. Fact Protocol’s technology is built on the Ethereum scaling chain Polygonand the startup will incentivize and reward its contributors with its native DO token, which will be released later.

The FACT token will also act as a governance token to democratize the process of forming new rules and making certain decisions.

Archived content will be stored for retrieval on IPFS (Interplanetary File System)a repository built on Ethereum.

de facto protocol
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Build a larger layer of verifiability

Mohith says Fact Protocol has also collaborated with IFCN (the international fact-checking network) to aggregate fact-check results and onboard more validators as part of its standardized guidelines.

“IFCN has fact-checking guidelines in place, but isn’t sure it can build Web3 and blockchain capabilities on its own. So we’re going to use IFCN members and fact-checkers, and validate their work before putting them on the chain,” Mohith says.

While the focus is now on verifying textual content, the startup has also explored image and video validation. Mohith says the team took advantage from Adobe open source tools to verify images and attempt to deploy them on the Fact Protocol platform.

He also sees huge potential in enterprise use cases for fact-checking technology. He plans to introduce a suite of enterprise-grade tools to validate the authenticity of content, and sees this as a major source of revenue for Fact in the future.

The core blockchain technology being built for a fact-checking system can be extended to create a broader layer of verifiability for Know Your Customer (KYC) and identity verification, verification of documents, authentication tools, etc. Fact Protocol plans to build it eventually.

Building such technology is certainly a challenge for a young and seeded startup like Fact Protocol. Reports suggest that the complexity, costs, and necessary advances in blockchain technology needed to build a global, decentralized fact-checking system are high.

However, Mohith is optimistic. “There are many platforms working to democratize content creation or boost citizen journalism, but we haven’t seen any platforms solving fact-checking with Web3 at the network level…while there are similar efforts in companies, the market is simply too big for a single project,” he concludes.