Challenges of the Web Era

Blogs, social media, video hostings, and other platforms changed the way media content is promoted and consumed. Now everyone can be a publisher. Bloggers (as well as vloggers and podcasters) build their personal brands often becoming one-man media, yet their audience is sometimes comparable to some very established traditional media companies.

This transition raised a number of new issues and made some old ones more acute. Amongst the key challenges the media industry is facing nowadays:

  • New business models for media companies and individual content creators. Authors gained independence from large publishers. Such individual authors can now either sell their content to publishers of their choice or bypass them and sell it directly to users
  • Authors depend on publishers less than before, but now they depend on platforms, which can dictate their prices or limit content visibility. In a way, authors dependency on platforms is much higher than their previous dependency on publishers, because authors invest their time and efforts in getting their clients inside a platform, and it creates the vendor lock-in effect
  • The overabundance of photo and news contributors has made it impossible for news outlets and citizens to verify the reliability of sources. As a result, fake news and unverified information became much quicker to spread
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) control has become a very serious issue for millions of content creators.
  • Over the years, most links on the Internet become broken, impairing our ability to find out the sources.

Web 3.0 Data Space will address and resolve all these issues, restoring the media fabric of the society. We will do it step-by-step, as explained below:
  • 1
    Establishing real IDs
    Web 3.0 Data Space provides every author an opportunity to have a protected identity. It could be either real identity, or the Pen Name identity, or both. The author will decide when they want to sign with a real name, pen name, or even as anonymous if required. Yet, even being anonymous the author will be able to demonstrate their e-reputation in order to be counted as a “reliable source”.

    Web 3.0 Data Space provides a powerful cryptographic ID system (European standard eiDAS/W3C standard).
  • 2
    Persistent IDs for digital assets
    Every author, media, or article will have its own unique and unchangeable (Persistent) ID, similar to DOI, but free and universal. From now on links to any media will never be lost. Digital content will become as solid as physical objects.

    It will also allow any platform to count all links from all materials (video, articles, music tracks) to a specific item, thus providing authors with a 100% complete statistics on usage and references to their content.
  • 3
    Providing full IPR control
    As real authors are identified and Persistent IDs for assets are established, the Web 3.0 Data Space can establish the full control over the IPR in the following way:

    Establishing authorship
    The author of any piece of content will be able to sign and timestamp it as soon as it is ready. It is the timestamp which establishes the authorship.
    Providing Provenance
    When an asset changes hands, the Web 3.0 Data Space will provide a possibility to sign the contract by all parties involved, and such signatures (with timestamps) will establish a verifiable chain of provenance from the original author to the current owner.
    Providing IPR Verification
    Any IPR platform will be able verify the original ownership of media and trace it down to the current owner in no time.
    Setting conditions
    The current owner will be able to set the access control rights and usage conditions and licenses.

    We are sure that global initiatives like C2PA will benefit from the Web 3.0 Data Space capacity to control IPR in a very advanced way.
  • 4
    (Re-)Introducing Measurable e-Reputation for media and authors
    Reputation was a backbone of the publishers in the XX century, but nowadays the digital world is overwhelmed with content from millions of creators, and checking their reputation became virtually impossible.

    Yet people still need a simple indicator of veracity. The unfeigned indicator.
    The e-Reputation mechanics will take into account millions of comments, reactions, requests, or any other activities related to an author or to any piece of content. Then smart platforms will be able figure out a cumulative public opinion on the author, their content, and every part of it. This indicator will be precise and tailor-made, and platforms will make sure that readers can know it in advance for every piece of news they are about to consume.

    The world of media has a chance to come back to stable equilibrium, but now at a totally new level.

Fake News and Fake Profiles Issue

Fake news is one of the most alarming issues we face as the media go through the painful process of democratization via social media and publishing platforms.

It is almost impossible for an inexperienced user to separate lies from truth now. Even respected publishers are not safe any more if they don’t invest in proper fact checking for each and every piece of news, which consumes a lot of resources.

Web 3.0 Data Space will address all these issues:
  • Identities of authors established and can be verified. No more bots
  • Persistent IDs and provenance of every piece of content. No more broken links
  • e-Reputation measurement for media platforms, authors, and their content

In such conditions it will be virtually impossible to propagate fake news on a large scale.
More than that, we believe it will become more difficult to support fake news, as those who help promote them will soon find their own e-Reputation going down.

Soon AI-based assistants will use the ultimate transparency of the e-Reputation to make sure their clients get the best news and the best advice possible. They will be protecting people from fake news, conspiracy theories, and other useless or harmful information.

New Opportunities

Within the Web 3.0 Data Space system, as more and more materials, authors and platforms are fairly rated with e-Reputation, we expect a smooth transition from a vague world of uncertainty and fake news to the world with proven reputation of every trusted content provider, both individual and corporate.

In this world, authors will “just publish” their materials instead of posting on a specific platform/media. When published on PODs, materials will be available to the public and publishers, on conditions set by authors. These conditions may include monetization. Actually, Web 3.0 unlocks and enhances a number of economic empowerment opportunities and makes several business models possible:
  • Traditional “employment” scheme won’t disappear: established media can still buy content from journalists and re-publish it
  • Individual media influencers will access a much wider audience, as their content will be available on a large number of post-platforms simultaneously, which will allow authors to generate additional revenue from advertisers
  • Some new post-platforms will also allow to automate and optimize all interactions with advertisers, leading to further revenue increase for influencers

In general, content creators will gain more power over platforms and publishers. For example, it will become risky for a platform to ban a popular author, as readers will go away and access content through other platforms, it will get negative reactions from unhappy authors and their readers, and its e-Reputation will decrease.

Besides economic inclusion and e-Reputation, more positive effects will emerge, such as:

Investigation platforms

As all data will be well preserved, with persistent IDs and authenticated authors, we expect investigation platforms to emerge and to provide due diligence on all kinds of potential frauds.

Linked Data-based AI services

With most or all the content stored in Linked Data formats, it will become much easier to analyse and to transform it. With billions of verified content elements on PODs, AI will be able to derive very non-trivial conclusions and ideas. This reliable Big Data will also allow AI solutions to seamlessly create a comprehensive digest on any topic whatsoever, based on thousands of text, sound, image, and video sources, just in a fraction of a second.

Media today, heritage tomorrow
Media become part of a heritage just in a few years.
50 years ago it was relatively easy: libraries kept piles of newspapers, and it was possible to find anything. Those newspapers had a reputation, so we knew how to interpret this heritage.

What do we have now:
  • No reliable Internet archives. Libraries cannot handle these tasks
  • It becomes extremely complicated to identify sources of content from decades ago
  • There is no mechanism of verifying reputation of a particular source of information at some point in the past
  • Most of the web links are gone in years, so even if some related content will be saved, specific references might still be lost

The Web 3.0 Data Space will change it all, providing:
  • Strong authors identity and authentication
  • Reliable Persistent IDs
  • E-reputation
  • and most importantly, long-term preservation for all content in Web 3.0 Data Space, regardless the platform used for publishing it

We believe that the Web 3.0 Data Space architecture will provide a trusted ecosystem allowing authors to work without depending on any large corporations, and at the same time it will contribute to the empowerment of humanity and of every individual.
The old system was perfect for the world of paper and established publishers. Now we have to introduce reliable reputation and content-analysis mechanics to the new digital reality