Jack Dorsey Has Floated Decentralized Fact-Checking at Twitter. Here’s What That Could Look Like

Jack Dorsey Has Floated Decentralized Fact-Checking at Twitter. Here’s What That Could Look Like


Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, recently re-tweeted a call for rather than new intermediaries like Twitter. 

Dorsey’s message came at the end of May, after Twitter fact-checked tweets by President Donald Trump about mail-in voting, leading Trump to sign an . Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects platforms from civil liability for the content on them and has enabled companies such as Facebook and Twitter to thrive.

A decentralized approach to fact-checking is likely to be popular in the blockchain community, which has long championed ideas like the “verified web.” 

“It shouldn’t be tech companies per se getting into fact checking,” Balaji Srinivasan, an angel investor, entrepreneur and former CTO of Coinbase, . “It should be open source technology. Free, universally available code and data for epistemology. Take a piece of text, parse it, extract assertions, compare to explicitly specified knowledge graphs and oracles.”

“Agree this should be open source and thus verifiable by everyone,” Dorsey replied. 

Facts are a flashpoint on the political stage right now, and given Dorsey’s quasi-endorsement of a tech “solutionism” approach to fact-checking, it begs the question: What would such a system look like?

Thousands of people commented on Srinivasan’s and Dorsey’s tweets, referring to projects they thought might serve as future models.  

One project is called Newsblocks, based in Glasgow, Scotland, and was conceived as a way to organize data for Newslines, a sister project. Newslines creates interactive news timelines about any topic. Think of it as a kind of “Wikipedia for news.” 

Here is an for Conor McGregor, which has almost 2,000 events in it. 

Mark Devlin is the CEO of and has been in publishing for years. He founded Metropolis, one of Japan’s top English-language magazines and Japan Today, a popular Japanese news site in English. His claim to fame: He was the first person anywhere to place reader comments directly under news stories.

Devlin realized the news he was collecting was actually data. For example, an article about Yoko Ono holding an art exhibition today will likely mention that she was married to John Lennon, who was murdered in 1980. That’s three pieces of data that can be extracted from the article and then used in different ways. 

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