Userfeeds aims to stop fake news by linking the blockchain to social content

Userfeeds is a new startup which has a platform which applies blockchain tokens to news discovery. The idea is to combat so-called “fake news” by providing an economic incentive to rank content well.

The Warsaw based company has raised $800k in seed funding from BlueYard Capital, Fred Ehrsamh (the Coinbase co-founder) and Piotr Smolen (Dataventures).

The system of content ranking and discovery on the web using links, likes, upvotes etc. is broken because algorithms are gamed by third parties (such as bots and false news providers) to change what you see on social media. That has meant platforms like Facebook ranking fake news higher than real news because it is, for instance, more sensational than boring and complex reality. We all know where that led…

So, Userfeeds is “applying the principles and methods of Bitcoin and Ethereum to create transparent and publicly auditable content networks and ranking algorithms that use digital tokens as ranking signals.” In plain English, that means creating an audit trail to content using the Blockchain. Here’s more their thinking.

Its first product, Userfeeds Engine, will allow users, developers and publishers to run custom rankings to produce search results, information feeds, recommendation systems, top 10 lists, and sponsored links.

This would also allow for new business models for publishers and application developers outside of advertising & subscriptions. And potentially improved ‘organic’ content discovery for audiences that don’t rely on easily abused social media signals such as links, likes, votes etc.

It also creates natural economic barriers that can prevent trolling, spam and cost-free abuse.

The team consists of Maciej Olpinski, co-founder and CEO, who worked for Google and YouTube in their ad product and business organisations. Greg Kapkowski, co-founder and CTO is a senior software engineer with experience and patents in metadata aggregation algorithms.