Our partnership

We partnered with the The Starling Lab for Data Integrity at Stanford University and the University of Southern California to advance authentication tools for photojournalism, underscoring the importance of accuracy and combating misinformation and disinformation.

For site presentation we partnered with the Four Corners Project allowing us to include the photo’s backstory, related photos, related stories and authentication in a easy to navigate interface.

Starling Lab for Data Integrity
The Starling Lab for Data Integrity prototypes tools and principles to bring journalists, legal experts and archivists into the emerging world of the decentralized web.

Four Corners Project
The Four Corners Project allows specific information to be embedded in each of the photograph’s four corners, where it is available for an interested reader to explore.

Go to the BCN/Starling Lab project

The tools we used

HTC Exodus phone and Canon camera workflow
An HTC Exodus phone was connected to a WiFi hotspot created on a Canon R5. Photos moved to the phone when shot and were hashed and signed. Photos were than selected on the phone and sent to the Starling server.

Content Credentials
Content Credentials (Beta) is a developing feature in Adobe Photoshop for creators to add their attribution details to their exported images. When enabled, Content Credentials gathers details such as edits, activity, and producer name then binds the information to the image as tamper-evident attribution and history data (called Content Credentials) when creators export their final content.

Verify
Verify (Beta) is a tool created by the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) to help make content transparency a standard across the internet, and make Content Credentials accessible to everyone.

The Blockchains we chose

These public databases use distributed cryptography to ensure they are tamperproof and immutable. The registrations have also been injected into the capture certificate. This is embedded into the file itself to make the verification information available to viewers.

Avalanche
Avalanche is a fast, decentralized, open-source blockchain that offers smart contract functionality.

LikeCoin
LikeCoin is a go-to chain for decentralized publishing. It enables users to publish and store content in NFTs, provides easy access to decentralized storage, and provides a new avenue for authors/creators to distribute their work.

Why authentication is important

In a world of deep fakes, misinformation, and copyright violations, creating a technological chain that identifies the history, or “provenance”  of a piece of digital content can serve to reduce information uncertainty.

Blue Owls Aren’t Real, Despite Pictures Shared OnlineSnopes
Fake or altered images pose real problem in today’s mediaNPPA
Many people can’t tell when photos are fake. Can you?The Washington Post
How Photos Fuel the Spread of Fake NewsWired
Text-to-image AI is a powerful, easy technology for making art — and fakesNiemanLab
There’s a Problem With That AI Portrait App: It Can Undress People Without Their ConsentFuturi
Man simulates time travel thanks to Stable Diffusion image synthesisARS TECHNICA