The Future of Data Integrity

Challenge Disinformation – Verification

August 25, 2020

Verify against Disinformation

With increasing digitization, workspaces moving online, and entire markets shifting to the cloud, the issue of data manipulation becomes more and more pressing. From tampering with financial data to the manipulation of healthcare data, the direct impact of information manipulation can be profound.
Another more subtle but important impact is the distribution and prevalence of manipulated news content, or in more contemporary terms “fake news”.
It must be noted, that this term is often used for information which isn’t entirely false or made up but framed with the intent to mislead the recipient. The following paper will largely focus on the manipulation of data rather than the misuse.

Verifying Data to Detect Disinformation

Manipulated information varies greatly, from benign or comedic (sometimes artistic) ‘manipulation’ of pictures or videos to garner attention and laughs without any deeper motivation, to meticulously planned and strategically placed manipulated information to steer public opinion.
A great example of irrelevant and humorous manipulation of media would be the short clip in which a pigeon seems to salute the Russian president Putin. However, there are also entire campaigns of disinformation, content that is known to be false shared intentionally, to spread misinformation, the same content shared by people that don’t realize the manipulation. Similar editing between the mash-up of different animals are also used to superimpose faces on other bodies, an advanced example today called ‘deep fakes’. The first instance might make some people laugh while the second may interfere with relationships or careers. Many have gone as far as saying that these phenomena have influenced essential societal processes such as elections. Even though the impact is difficult to measure, there is a definite potential for great misuse subverting the most fundamental societal processes.

With the rise of fake news, there has also been a rise in distrust of media in general, creating another issue. Often content in news stories is being viewed with greater suspicion. Original unaltered information and media now compete with manipulated and fabricated information and the average recipient is often unable to tell which is which. A simple yet effective way to establish your content as original is by proving that it was in fact the primary source.
Establishing the origin – the content-prime – enables any honest subsequent user, to share the content while giving access to the original and its relevant context. This expose editing of all kinds. Making false statements would be easily exposable as a refutation would be attached.

Next week we will continue the trail to the origin. If you can’t wait you can download the entire paper here.