Blockchain-based Framework for Reducing Fake or Vicious News Spread on Social Media/Messaging Platforms

Sakshi Dhall, Ashutosh Dhar Dwivedi, Saibal K. Pal, Gautam Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


With social media becoming the most frequently used mode of modern-day communications, the propagation of fake or vicious news through such modes of communication has emerged as a serious problem. The scope of the problem of fake or vicious news may range from rumour-mongering, with intent to defame someone, to manufacturing false opinions/trends impacting elections and stock exchanges to much more alarming and mala fide repercussions of inciting violence by bad actors, especially in sensitive law-and-order situations. Therefore, curbing fake or vicious news and identifying the source of such news to ensure strict accountability is the need of the hour. Researchers have been working in the area of using text analysis, labelling, artificial intelligence, and machine learning techniques for detecting fake news, but identifying the source or originator of such news for accountability is still a big challenge for which no concrete approach exists as of today. Also, there is another common problematic trend on social media whereby targeted vicious content goes viral to mobilize or instigate people with malicious intent to destabilize normalcy in society. In the proposed solution, we treat both problems of fake news and vicious news together. We propose a blockchain and keyed watermarking-based framework for social media/messaging platforms that will allow the integrity of the posted content as well as ensure accountability on the owner/user of the post. Intrinsic properties of blockchain-like transparency and immutability are advantageous for curbing fake or vicious news. After identification of fake or vicious news, its spread will be immediately curbed through backtracking as well as forward tracking. Also, observing transactions on the blockchain, the density and rate of forwarding of a particular original message going beyond a threshold can easily be checked, which could be identified as a possible malicious attempt to spread objectionable content. If the content is deemed dangerous or inappropriate, its spread will be curbed immediately. The use of the Raft consensus algorithm and bloXroute servers is proposed to enhance throughput and network scalability, respectively. Thus, the framework offers a proactive as well as reactive, practically feasible, and effective solution for curtailment of fake or vicious news on social media/messaging platforms. The proposed work is a framework for solving fake or vicious news spread problems on social media; the complete design specifications are beyond scope of the current work and will be addressed in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3467019
JournalACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing
Issue number1
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

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