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A newly funded blockchain startup called Userfeeds aims to combat fake news on social media with the same technology bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use to verify financial transactions.

"The Userfeeds Engine will allow developers and publishers to run their own ranking algorithms that are based on blockchain-based signals," CEO and co-founder Maciej Olpinski told International Business Times in a Twitter message. Ranking algorithims are currently the backbone of online newsfeeds. But these feeds are still plagued by dangerous vulnerabilities.

We know that inaccurate political content is rampant on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, often receiving far more shares and engagement than verified reporting because the short, salacious content evokes more emotional reactions than nuanced explanations.

Read: How To Spot Fake News, Facebook Explains; Launches AI ‘M’ To Messenger To Give Suggestions

A Buzzfeed survey of six popular Facebook pages in 2016, three right-wing outlets and three left-wing counterparts, found that 38 percent of the conservative posts and 19 percent of the left-leaning posts were empirically false. This isn’t just an issue of fringe bloggers and memes. According to a more comprehensive study of Facebook’s ecosystem by the Columbia Journalism Review, fabricated articles are less widespread than misleading ones.

“Many of the most-shared stories can more accurately be understood as disinformation,” the CJR report states. “The purposeful construction of true or partly true bits of information into a message that is, at its core, misleading,”

Some experts have even speculated whether the deluge of misinformation swayed the 2016 election, since the Pew Research Center reported around 44 percent of Americans get their news on Facebook. This doesn’t mean social media is their only source of political information. But it is clear that social media can be detrimental to the democratic process, a problem Facebook itself has acknowledged and vowed to curtail.

Crowdsourcing verification has proven problematic. Data proved the masses rarely flock towards the highest quality content. So former Google employee Maciej Olpinski and software engineer Greg Kapkowski teamed up to create Userfeeds, which Maciej wrote aims to “design the economic and technological infrastructure for the attention economy.”

He wants to unbundle Facebook’s ranking algorithm, which prioritizes popularity, and let third party “providers” curate more nuanced newsfeeds. This proposal utilizes blockchain technology used to verify cryptocurrency transactions. By opening algorithmic influence to individuals, bitcoin managed to build a network of mutual trust without any centralized oversight, like the government institutions that traditionally crack down on bank fraud and other financial crimes.

Bitcoin contributors get digital coins for contributing to the system. Userfeeds’ model suggests third parties could fund their operations with advertisements or user subscriptions, fostering competition and diversity similar to traditional news outlets. Meanwhile, symbolic tokens represent “reputation transfers,” so that platforms like Google and Facebook can rank provider-approved results. To do that, Userfeeds is taking a page straight out of the proverbial cryptocurrency Bible.

"Tokens, which are necessary to write to such feeds, can be traded on the open market just like Bitcoin," Olpinski told IBT. "This enables a price discovery mechanism as token units can act as a currency and a ranking signal at the same time."

Blockchain technology gets its name from the idea that each transaction is like an individual Lego that stacks on top of the others, all of which contain ledgers for the history of all the blockchain’s transactions. Even if a hacker managed to disrupt one encrypted transaction, the record of it still exists in all the other (metaphorical) Legos. Applying the same principle to fact-checking news, rather than relying on spam filters and ad targeting, protects consumers from deliberate manipulation on behalf of either the content creator or the publishing platform itself.

Read: Facebook Vs. Fake News Sites: Social Network Announces Plan To Fight 'Hoaxes' In Your Newsfeed

Userfeeds has already garnered attention from influential investors like Coinbase co-founder and former Goldman Sachs trader Fred Ehrsam. TechCrunch reported the Warsaw-based company already raised $800,000 to create their first product, the Userfeeds Engine. According to TechCrunch, it will “allow users, developers and publishers to run custom rankings to produce search results, information feeds, recommendation systems, top 10 lists, and sponsored links.”

Only time will tell if this type of interactive media ecosystem will appeal to gatekeepers like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Blockchain media products won’t have much of a future without corporate cooperation.