W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > August 2017

Stopping "Bots" and "Fake News"

From: Adam Sobieski <adamsobieski@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:33:37 +0000
To: "public-credentials@w3.org" <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <DM5PR01MB3275C0D749E48C979B6EA5D8C5890@DM5PR01MB3275.prod.exchangelabs.com>
Credentials Community Group,

I would like to broach the role that credentials technologies may play in curtailing “fake accounts”, “bots”, “spam”, “hoaxes” and “fake news”.  I hope to indicate to you the importance of credentials systems and of securing such systems.

Consider uses of credentials when creating new accounts or updating existing accounts, e.g. social media. Envision a popup or alert, “this website wants to know your real name.”  With social media, users are expected to presume to authenticity of their fellow users and it makes sense for users to choose to allow the services to access their real names, and possibly dates of birth.

“People come to Facebook to make meaningful connections. From the beginning, we’ve believed that can only be possible if the interactions here are authentic – and if people use the names they're known by. We’ve found that when people represent themselves on Facebook the same way they do in real life, they act responsibly. Fake accounts don’t follow this pattern, and are closely related to the creation and spread of spam. That’s why we’re so focused on keeping these inauthentic accounts and their activity off our platform” (https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-security/improvements-in-protecting-the-integrity-of-activity-on-facebook/10154323366590766/).  Furthermore, social “bots” play a major role in spreading “fake news” (https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608561/first-evidence-that-social-bots-play-a-major-role-in-spreading-fake-news/).

Credentials and verifiable claims systems are of use in quickly separating real users from “fake accounts” and “bots”.  Credentials should be as easy and intuitive for users to initialize and to configure as installing operating systems or configuring digital wallets.

If we get credentials systems right, and secure, we can stop “fake accounts” and “bots” and we can curtail “spam”, “hoaxes” and “fake news” – we can defend digital democracy.


Best regards,
Adam Sobieski
http://www.phoster.com/about/

https://www.w3.org/community/argumentation/

https://www.w3.org/community/collaboration/


P.S.:
http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/2017/07/17/troops-trolls-and-trouble-makers-a-global-inventory-of-organized-social-media-manipulation/ (http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/89/2017/07/Troops-Trolls-and-Troublemakers.pdf)
http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/2017/07/18/spreading-fake-news-becomes-standard-practice-for-governments-across-the-world/

http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/2017/07/18/government-cyber-troops-manipulate-facebook-twitter-study-says/

https://www.belfercenter.org/project/defending-digital-democracy

Received on Friday, 11 August 2017 18:34:31 UTC

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