Facebook is broken. PUBLIQ can fix it.
Until recently, few considered who profits from your clicks. The rise of fake news to the top of news feeds, following its alleged influence in the 2016 US Election and Brexit, has transformed this. Now many more of us know that a lazy click or two on enticing adverts or links can enrich fake news creators. One click might earn only a few cents, but hundreds of thousands can generate a lot of cash and the incentive to continue.
At PUBLIQ, we want to change this. So our team threw themselves into getting to the source of the problem. And what did we find?
Let’s start at the beginning. Media is business. Business means making money. If you make money from information in the current system, then your profit is based on popularity. Advertisers pay you per number of clicks from your site. To get these clicks you only need to drive traffic to your site, not make visitors read the entire article once they are there.
This is fake news: a symptom of the illness of the current system. Catchy headlines with poor articles or unverifiable content are beating long-established and well-researched news outlets on click-through rates. People click on adverts or links. If this leads to fake news, their job is done. You are already contributing to their profits, regardless of whether you read it or not.
PUBLIQ is very concerned about this subsequent deterioration in the quality of writing. Reputable sites want you to read what they write. But to compete with fake news, some are having to use the same tricks. So for the sake of survival, quality suffers through inevitable competition with the less scrupulous.
So Facebook and other social media sites must be stopping fake news?
Wrong. Facebook itself has made some positive noises and is now, among other measures, employing more people instead of algorithms to judge what is fake or inappropriate. Google AdSense, which carries the majority of these adverts, has echoed this and is taking a similar approach. They both claim to be banning fake news from using their advertising platforms.
But PUBLIQ does not believe that this is stopping fake news. The problem is built into the fundamental structure of current social media sites. Their whole business model is aimed at making profit for owners or shareholders. Their priority is maximising advertising revenues, paying less attention to tackling fake news. Until public pressure became so great for Facebook, there was no incentive to regulate fake news. Now they are appearing to tackle fake news only to prevent negative news stories about how they are not tackling fake news.
PUBLIQ is different.
Unlike centralized media, Blockchains create a distributed model that pushes profits to the edge, to the day-to-day contributors. On the PUBLIQ Blockchain, advertisers directly fund the whole ecosystem. No one entity or group receives all advertising revenues.
Fair distribution of value at PUBLIQ is not optional. It is the system, the architecture upon which it is built. Simply put, those who contribute are those who profit.
Main contributors are the authors of original content, who receive PUBLIQ’s own tokens, PBQ. As with other Blockchains, people who assign computing power to mine these tokens and to provide distributed storage for the platform’s content, are also rewarded with PBQ. Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, these tokens can be bought and traded online for other cryptocurrencies.
Adverts on PUBLIQ are bought in PBQ, which is then distributed to authors. An algorithm takes into account how long a certain article has been published, as well as likes and shares. Flagging also allows people to question articles, giving them an opportunity to explain their misgivings. All of these criteria give an author an overall score that represents the level of trust of the community. They receive PBQ accordingly, which flows directly from advertiser to author.
So problems that we face with fake news are avoided on PUBLIQ, where good quality writing is incentivized. Misleading or inappropriate articles get flagged and receive poor scores. If this happens repeatedly, the community can also temporarily ban an author. This way, the readers themselves create a feedback loop where bad writing is minimised and good writing gets rewarded and promoted with more PBQ.
PUBLIQ is tackling a problem that has existed for as long as the printing press. Publishers, whether traditional or online, are the ones making the real profits, not the writers. Through Blockchain technology, PUBLIQ sees a real opportunity to put control over content into the hands of content creators and consumers.
PUBLIQ believes that this new approach will revolutionize the quality of online media. On PUBLIQ you will not have that doubt about what you are clicking on. Your clicks reward quality writing, while fake news on Facebook disappears.
To find out about how the PUBLIQ Blockchain works in more detail, read our White Paper.