Emercoin in partnership with Design 4 Democracy Coalition have developed a solution to combat data manipulation in electoral process. It was piloted on September 30, 2018 during Macedonian referendum. Only one question was put to referendum – the renaming of the country in exchange for the support of Greece for Macedonia to join the European Union and NATO.
Manipulation of data in electoral processes
The publishing of falsified information during the electoral campaign is one of the ways to manipulate the course and results of elections. In most modern countries, not only public organizations but also journalists act as observers. Published articles influence the decision making of voters. In the case of the presidential election in the USA in 2016, the press published both reliable facts and materials based on assumptions. Website Politifact, which rates the accuracy of claims by politicians, claimed that 70% of Trump’s statements were false, while only 26% of Hillary Clinton's statements were considered to be false. However, these claims had little to do with reliable facts.
Fake data is often published on the Internet and voters can’t verify its accuracy. Examples include the presidential elections in the USA, voting regarding Brexit, as well as the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Kenya. And those are just a few proofs of how data manipulation can affect social stability and the level of trust in electoral institutions.
Macedonian referendum affects the interests of several countries. The matter of the country’s renaming is still remains open. To prevent data manipulation and influence on the public opinion, Emercoin and Design 4 Democracy Coalition developed a system for authentication of reports on the progress of referendum. Anyone can check that reports are published by a verified organization and contain reliable data. The system is also a reliable source of information for journalists.
How it works
The system is designed for storing and authenticity verification of reports from referendum observers. Blockchain with the help of time stamps protects data from falsification and unauthorized changes. The solution allows journalists and international organizations to determine that important public documents are provided by authorized users, not modified, correspond to the original and published at the time stated.
In the case of Macedonian referendum, MOST Citizen’s Association was responsible for monitoring of processes. It was verified by Design 4 Democracy Coalition to submit interim reports to the blockchain. Then the reports were made public and the media or other interested parties could publish data, referring to a reliable report file.
On the blockchain side, the solution was implemented in the following way. Design 4 Democracy Coalition verified the non-profit organization MOST in the blockchain, which then added hash sum of reliable files with reports into the decentralized database. The site https://democracynotary.org is used for documents verification. The system on the site checks the hash sum of the uploaded document, and if any changes have been made in it, the system determines it and displays it in a message. If the file is original and no changes have been made, the system informs the user about the identity of the copy of the report to the original.
The solution developed on Emercoin blockchain is universal and can be used by any processes that require the verification of public documents. It will become an effective addition to the system for protecting of electoral processed and cleaning the Internet from publishing of falsified data that can affect social processes.
Emercoin is a blockchain platform, which since 2013 it has developed a wide range of easy-to-use dSDKs. dSDK (Decentralized Software Development Kit) is a set of software development tools that allows the creation of software, services, and solutions. Usually, it includes APIs, technical documentation and parts of code for fast and easy development on a certain platform.
dSDKs are already implemented in numerous innovative technical solutions built on the blockchain. Emercoin offers services that are recognized by many companies and organizations, such as Coca-Cola, Lloyd’s, Bitfury, Microsoft, Risk Cooperative, Beazley, Deloitte, Aspanta, I-Teco, RedHat, Authorizer, Foundico, UnaDesk, and others.
Design 4 Democracy Coalition is an organization that is committed to ensuring the protection of democracy and human rights around the globe. Coalition uses innovative technologies to ensure the integrity of information and prevent the spread of false or misleading facts. The organization works on understanding challenges and threats at the intersection of democracy and technology.