Earlier, we tackled how both blockchain and AI can potentially help in preventing the propagation of fake news and war propaganda. However, they also have inherent limitations in their current states that we should take note of, especially when applied to current conflicts like the Israel and Palestine war as well as the Russia and Ukraine war.
Scalability: Blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum can experience scalability issues. Handling the high volume of data generated in a conflict zone, such as real-time updates on incidents, could strain the network and lead to slower transactions.
Data Validation: While blockchain provides immutability, it doesn’t guarantee the accuracy of data entered. Misinformation or false information can still be recorded on the blockchain for some reason due to consensus exploits, and once it’s there, it’s difficult to remove.
Privacy Concerns: Blockchain’s transparency can be a limitation in situations where privacy is crucial. For example, individuals in conflict zones might require anonymous communication for safety reasons, which blockchain’s public ledger does not support.
Access to Technology: Implementing blockchain in conflict zones requires access to the necessary technology and internet infrastructure, which may not be readily available in some areas affected by conflict.
False Positives and Negatives: Artificial intelligence or AI-driven content analysis and fact-checking tools are not infallible. They can produce false positives, flagging genuine content as propaganda, or miss false narratives, allowing them to spread.
Bias: AI systems can inherit and propagate biases present in their training data. In conflict situations, AI might inadvertently amplify certain narratives or stereotypes, causing further tensions.
Deepfake Advancement: Deepfake technology is continually evolving, making it challenging for AI detection systems to keep up. AI algorithms may struggle to identify increasingly sophisticated deepfakes.
Limited Data Sources: AI heavily relies on data sources for its analysis. In areas with limited internet access or data censorship, AI may not have access to comprehensive information for accurate analysis.
Resource Intensive: Developing and maintaining robust AI systems is resource-intensive, which can be a limitation for smaller organizations or conflict-affected regions with limited resources.
Privacy: Both blockchain and AI systems raise privacy concerns. The use of these technologies for monitoring and verification must be balanced with the right to privacy and data protection.
Potential Misuse: In conflict situations, there’s the potential for blockchain and AI technologies to be misused by various actors, including governments, to control information, manipulate narratives, or conduct surveillance.
Resource Allocation: Devoting resources to implementing and maintaining blockchain and AI systems for propaganda prevention could divert resources from other critical areas, such as humanitarian aid.
Transparency and Accountability: While blockchain can provide transparency, it doesn’t guarantee accountability. Human actors can still manipulate and distort information on the blockchain.
Censorship Resistance: Blockchain’s censorship resistance can be a double-edged sword. While it can protect against information manipulation, it can also hinder the removal of genuinely harmful content.
To wrap things up, while blockchain and AI offer valuable tools for verifying and preventing war propaganda, it’s essential to recognize their limitations. These technologies are not a panacea and must be implemented thoughtfully, considering the specific needs and challenges of the conflict at hand. Ethical considerations and the potential for misuse also need to be carefully addressed when deploying these technologies in conflict zones.