The worldwide web is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. It has revolutionized communication and allowed for a stunning amount of innovation to happen. As a place without regulation, the web was allowed to grow tremendously. But today, we cope with the side-effects of that unregulated growth: misuse hurts people and even democracies. Now, there is talk of regulating the web — but some are also talking about bringing trust back to the web. One of the tools that can help bring back trust is timestamping content.
Table of contents
- The web has a trust issue
- Helping bring trust: the trusted web
- Part of the solution: timestamping content
- WordProof: using the blockchain to prove ownership
- Timestamping and SEO
- Towards a trusted web
- Try WordProof at a discount
The web has a trust issue
Over the years, huge companies were allowed to grow their reach into every nook and cranny of the web. Of course, many of these companies provide us with valuable tools and insights that we can use to improve our knowledge, work, or even happiness. But today, many of us are concerned about our security, privacy, and loss of self. We see fake news thrive on social media, and regular newspapers struggle to keep their heads above water. We see corruption, foreign interference, and massive disinformation campaigns. This all leads to an important question: Who can you trust?
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Helping bring trust: the trusted web
The trusted web is an initiative to give consumers, governments, and companies a way to verify that they can trust what they read. It’s an idea to help the web become transparent about where something came from and accountable for who published what. It should no longer revolve be about machines making their choices for you, but you should be in control of what you do, what you read. You should be in control of how you use what you learn.
The talk for regulating the web is picking up and in Europe, we already have something called the GDPR. This gives European citizens ownership over their digital data. This is not a way to censor things, as that would hurt the web, but a way to enable people to decide for themselves what they want to do with their data.
Part of the solution: timestamping content
There are several initiatives that are working on parts of a future trusted web. One of the most interesting solutions is timestamping content in the blockchain. A timestamp lets readers know they can trust this piece of content as it has been verified and added to the blockchain. In the blockchain, the ownership and status of this content lives on in eternity — for all to see. It gives undeniable proof that this content exists, when it first appeared, who wrote it, and when it was last edited, if so.
Timestamping content provides a sense of trust for your readers. You show that you take your content seriously. Not only that, by adding it to the blockchain, you can prove without a doubt that you are the owner of this content. Timestamping is a relatively easy solution that helps improve trust and paves the way towards a trusted web.
WordProof: using the blockchain to prove ownership
There’s a Dutch company called WordProof trying to restore trust on the web. WordProof has built a solution that uses the blockchain to place and verify timestamps on content. It uses badges or links to show people that the content has been protected. If you want, you can even check the changes made in previously saved versions of the content. This allows publishers to be as transparent and trustworthy as possible. WordProof even lets you view the timestamp transaction on the blockchain.
Here’s how WordProof sees that route toward a trusted web: