Blockchain technology has been identified by several web designers, software engineers and ICT specialists as a major tool that can change the mode of operations of online platforms.
Because of that, social media regulators, governments and companies are investing heavily in seeing this come true. The regulators want to reduce or stop the way social media platforms have been mismanaged and misused by criminals.
Criminals have been taking advantage of the gaps in the cybersecurity of these platforms to hack, scam and rob people. For instance, hackers gained access to the accounts of several popular Twitter users including India's PM Modi, Barack Obama, Kanye West, and asked their followers to send Bitcoin and get high returns immediately.
Some followers sent Bitcoin (BTC) worth over $120,000, expecting to get back the promised returns but, of course, it was a scam. One of the masterminds of the Twitter hack who managed to have collected over $3 million worth of Bitcoin is a teenager Graham Ivan Clark. He was arrested and charged with 30 cases all related to fraud.
According to the report by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an authority responsible for protecting America's consumers, it is expected that social media fraud was over $400 million in 2020 (which is triple the loss recorded in 2019 - that was about $134 mln). BTC’s price is up in the clouds standing at above US$51,000, according to data from CMC. The figure is expected to multiply in 2021 especially during this period of Bitcoin bull run where people and new investors are excited to invest in cryptocurrency due to the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Some of the IT companies have already embarked on the campaign of using distributed ledger technology to record and store information securely and protect users from hacks and scams. Since blockchain technology is the future for content on online and social media platforms, Twitter formed a special team to design an effective public blockchain platform and open Twitter protocol.
Facebook and Google are also using blockchain to prevent the spread of fake news. The technology can be used to track and identify the individual that performed a criminal act or a policy breach on the platform and allow legal action to be taken.
Blockchain-friendly organisations have also started to join the campaign of using DLT to galvanize the future, privacy and security of social media users. The European Commission has appointed Worldline to head the 'TruBlo' project, an innovative Next Generation Internet initiative aiming at using blockchain to enhance the exchange of accurate content on social media platforms and other online networks.
Such blockchain-based projects will be significant in developing trust and reliable models that power the exchange of information sent or created by individuals from any smart device and this digital transformation effort is very crucial since technology is now part of our security.