With over 500 Million users, Adblock Plus could be considered a very popular plug-in/web browser extension. If you’re not aware of it, Adblock Plus is a piece of advert-blocking software that uses its inbuilt technology to block adverts within various different web browsers, from Safari to Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, to name but a few.
Not only does Adblock Plus block advertisements, it also includes clever features that allow legitimate and acceptable ads to appear (thus allowing for advertising revenue on websites to still be generated) and also blocks tracking and malicious websites. In essence, Adblock Plus isn’t just about blocking advertising, it boasts a wealth of security features too, security features that are about to introduce blockchain technology to some of Adblock Plus’s 500 Million users (providing they download another extension of course).
By using blockchain technology, Adblock Plus have developed a system that ranks news pieces in order to highlight to general news readers, which news is legitimate, and which is fake, in a bid to make the internet more transparent. The system, known as ‘Trusted News’ is now available as a Google Chrome extension and builds upon Adblock Plus’s technology to highlight any issues with news content to news readers. The blockchain is uses here to refer to a number of trusted sources to compare news articles to calculate how reliable they are.
Ben Williams, the Director of Ecosystems at GmbH, the company behind AdBlock Plus and Trusted News has told TechCrunch:
“They can say ‘hey I don’t feel like this site should be listed as biased because whatever’. And we’re going to use that feedback to make the product better. And then the next step is to decouple that from any server, and from any third party, and give it directly to the blockchain. So that that feedback can live on its own in that place and so that good feedback can be prized and rewarded among users, and people who are providing bad feedback won’t be. So that is the next step.”
There are many cool implications for this, but above all this serves as a great example of the potential blockchain technology has to quickly, easily and moreover, usefully integrate itself into our lives. Through a growing demand for the blockchain, applications such as Trusted News will come to the fore and may very well become a functional part of our lives, in the same way Adblock Plus has been for millions of users worldwide.
Further implications also include the fact that Trusted News will help legitimate news stories and news websites stand out above the rest, improving transparency and importantly, improving the safety and security of internet users worldwide.