The world captures over 1 trillion digital images and videos a year. Many of our daily decisions are predicated on the media we view on social feeds and news sites.
What you buy, what you believe, who you vote for, who you date, even how the international community responds to crises.
But there’s a problem.
There’s a decreasing value in digital images and videos—we simply don’t trust what we see online.
90% of US adults say altered videos and images create a great deal of confusion about the facts of current events (Pew Research Centre).
As people begin to unravel the dark side of institutional, governmental, big tech and individual misinformation & manipulation of online data, a distrustful undertone in our society is creeping into the mainstream.
Echo chambers, fake news, and alternative facts stop people from properly analyzing the world around them, leading to an increasingly divisive social discourse.
So, we have a paradox at play. We rely on images and videos more than ever before. But we don’t trust them.
In the last few years, a new technological counterculture that could help to solve the paradox has emerged. Blockchain technology is reforming the internet; creating a new value exchange and an entirely new economic and civil system, based on peer-to-peer decentralised systems with trust, integrity, and transparency at the forefront.
Organizations of the future will be created and owned by users in a meaningful way, empowering individuals and communities, rather than single entities like Google or Meta.
There are signs the Silicon Valley age is dwindling. Traditional tech is in the midst of a fourth ‘super bubble’ driven by government crackdowns and a global shift in attitudes. Algorithms and photo manipulation are leading to a future where subjective opinions are more influential than objective truth.
Decentralized photo network, Numbers Protocol, could be the answer to solving trust problems in digital media. Numbers Protocol uses the blockchain to authenticate digital media, so you know you’re seeing original, untouched images online.
Rather than taking things at face value, the technology authenticates images to support human critical thinking, so you can analyze the world around you in the knowledge you’re seeing the full picture.
As we head into the metaverse, technologies like this will become all the more important for keeping big tech, the media and state bad actors at arm’s length.
Author: Alex Theaker - Strategy Director