Fake news! Fake news!
We’re practically lining up to lynch the media these days, but journalism, marketing, internet, and even social media are vital lines of communication. Key battles in past wars like the Ho Chi Minh trail, Battle of France, and Siege of Vicksburg were won by attacking key communication lines.
Recent revolutions and protests like Occupy and the Arab Spring were kept alive through social media. Everyone’s jockeying for the attention of the masses, and media is constantly involved in wars on all fronts.
And of course, this media frenzy is sponsored by whichever brands can afford the investment for exposure on the media outlets. The lines between media, marketing, and internet have long been blurred, and the blockchain may just be the answer to many of our communication problems
A Breakdown in Communications
Marketers essentially fund the internet, whether we like it or not. Very few sites like Wikipedia have flourished without participating in the advertising model (although we’re proud to say that we’re one of them). The battle every website faces over the past decade has been who owns the communication lines within the United States.
Internet Service Providers like Comcast/Xfinity, AT&T, and Verizon scored a major win in 2017 when Ajit Pai led the FCC to repeal net neutrality. Their ownership over internet content now works much like their control over cable channels.
If you’re old enough to remember living in the 20th century, cable content providers like Viacom, Disney, Fox, HBO, and even the NFL, WWE, and other leagues struggled in contract negotiations with service providers.
Online-based streaming options like YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Netflix changed the industry. Independent content creators could compete with the majors, and brands like Phil DeFranco, The Young Turks, and more could legitimately compete.
Smart TVs became a thing, and FireTV, Roku, Chromecast, and more are prebuilt into nearly everyone’s TV sets. The internet is more a part of our homes than radio, television, newspapers, or magazines ever were combined.
But just as video killed the radio star, internet would have killed cable providers had they not foreseen the shift. The FCC’s latest decision – in particular, the fact that the agency lied to Congress over a phoney DDOS attack, which may have helped repeal net neutrality regulations – makes a decentralized internet almost sound… necessary.
Blockchain-based services that assist in key areas of media and marketing are swinging like a wrecking ball at them all.
The Content Creator’s Dilemma
Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you’re aware of how much the blockchain is mentioned throughout the media. Although some do so with more sensationalism than others. The blockchain is actually powering more of the media than you’d think.
My first article with Crypto Briefing was about how musicians and content creators can track residuals using the blockchain. In fact, this message has been a theme throughout the past year. Even Silicon Valley joked on HBO about a patent troll and how copyright and internet law can be complicated.
The 2018 release of No Postage Necessary illustrated how Hollywood’s indie scene is test-driving real-world blockchain tech. With a Bitcoin-based storyline, the movie says a lot about how crypto is disrupting communications on all ends. We even mentioned this week how the Post Office is using blockchain, as almost everyone else.
And let’s not forget about Golem and its cluster computing. Golem’s aim to decentralize computer graphics processing will disrupt behind the curtains as much as Vevue (the Qtum-based app No Postage Necessary was released on) is changing the front of the house.
But the more data is decentralized, the more important it becomes to have legal protections in place should technical protections fail.
For example, nobody should ever manage to track you, but if they do, you should be legally protected through the courts and police. Blockchain projects like Steemit are already envisioning the new media on the blockchain. Reveel is gearing up to revolutionize marketing on the blockchain too.
Sharing and tracking of images will soon change too. Watermarking digital products like music and movie files can be a hassle, and tracking piracy is a real issue. Baidu, China’s Google, recently launched a service called Totem that uses the blockchain to timestamp photo submissions and store data on a distributed network.
And let’s not forget how the blockchain is changing the service that changed the media the most over the past decade – social media.
Sharing Is Caring on the Blockchain
Facebook and other social media sites banned ICO ads throughout 2018, but that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t seriously looked into launching its own crypto coin. If it doesn’t create its own, it has plenty of blockchain-based social startups to consider acquiring a majority stake in.
But Facebook’s biggest problem this year (and it’s not the only one) is the scourge of fake news. The European Commission believes the blockchain is the answer to this. It announced in April 2018 that a blockchain-based Code of Practice on Disinformation application will be running by the summer.
Journalists have long accepted crypto donations, and blockchain-like encrypted channels of communication help keep confidential sources anonymous.
Everyone from Comcast to HBO and Netflix is investing in blockchain solutions for today’s media challenges. Micropayments, distributed computing, royalty tracking, and digital copyright management are just a few of the benefits crypto and blockchain provide the media industry.
There was a time when Wikileaks couldn’t get donations to continue reporting leaks. Bitcoin kept the organization afloat, and CryptoKitties are still helping the fight today.
Cryptocurrency and the blockchain were a part of the media long before the media was widely reporting on them. They’ll continue working hand-in-hand on the cutting edge of secure, distributed, verifiable communications.
The author is not currently invested in any digital asset.