Digital Press Passes

I wanted to clarify and expand on these ideas making use of the valuable feedback received thus far.


Discussed, herein, are some technical topics pertaining to digital press passes, a type of verifiable credential.

Beyond the described journalism scenarios, the technologies under discussion are generally applicable to any professional organizations with policies, by-laws, codes of conduct, or codes of ethics agreed to by their members. The technologies under discussion can equip any professional organization which desires to be able to issue, annotate, warn, and revoke credentials.

Issuance, Annotation, Warning, and Revocation

Organizations issuing digital press passes might desire to have, beyond the capability to revoke digital press passes, the capability to place publicly visible and machine-utilizable informational annotations and warnings on digital press passes or at resources referenced by them. Informational annotations and warnings should be able to be placed on digital press passes or at referenced resources for temporary durations of time. As envisioned, informational annotations and warnings include short hypertext messages for view by end-users.

An organization issuing digital press passes might, for example, have a policy that a factually incorrect news story without a reasonably rapid retraction or correction would be a cause for a warning to be placed on relevant digital press passes for some duration. A publicly visible and short hypertext message for a particular warning could contain a hyperlink to an incident report which includes quotations from the relevant news article or articles. These incident reports could, eventually, make use of Web schema and be machine-utilizable.

Web Documents, Web Schema, Linked Data, and Digital Signatures

Solutions involving combinations of document markup, document metadata, Web schema, linked data, and digital signatures can be envisioned.

Also, as envisioned, news articles’ authors could be members of multiple professional organizations which issue digital press passes. That is, each news article author could present multiple digital press passes.

Web Browser Integration

Web browsers could provide end-users with information about any digital press passes relevant to the news articles that they are viewing.

Presently, end-users can view a lock symbol in the address bar which indicates that communication with servers is secure. As envisioned, next to and to the right of such lock symbols, Web browsers could display graphic icons about relevant digital press passes. These graphic icons could visually present information such as whether a document is detected to be a news article (see also: Web schema), whether a news article provides any digital press passes, whether any provided digital press passes are annotated with informational or warning messages, and whether any provided digital press passes are revoked by any issuing organizations.

As end-users can click on lock symbols to view detailed information about their secure connections to servers and about digital certificates utilized, end-users could similarly click on digital-press-pass-related graphic icons to view more detailed information. As envisioned, this detailed information includes any informational annotations or warnings on digital press passes, and each informational annotation or warning could provide a short hypertext message with hyperlinks to relevant incident reports.


Digital press passes can be an integral part of solutions designed to mitigate the spread of misinformation and disinformation online.

News aggregation services could utilize digital press passes in algorithms designed to select and sort news articles for end-users, prioritizing news articles which present digital press passes issued by recognized organizations.

Social media websites could, similarly, utilize digital press passes from recognized organizations in their algorithms. Such algorithms could determine whether resources shared on social media were news-like, determine whether the authors of shared news articles were or were not providing digital press passes, and process informational annotations on, warnings on, and revocations of digital press passes.

Best regards,
Adam Sobieski

Received on Wednesday, 21 July 2021 11:00:11 UTC