Fancy a Media driven by Blockchain technology?
Recently there were a bunch of articles reporting on a change to immigration laws, that might mean high skilled immigrants from countries like India and China with a valid immigration petition living in the United States waiting in the indefinite line to get a green card would no longer be able to extend their visas after 6 years. The waiting times for an Indian is currently more than 50 to 60 years when extrapolated based on the number of applications and current processing times. (Read Vice News report Here)
This is a major catastrophe for people who have family and American Born children living in the United States, and have not lived in their home country for the last 10–15 years. Turns out this was not a fact. Here is how long it took me to find out and how many sources I had to refer to make sure this was in fact not a fact, but just incorrect information which was not vetted thoroughly. There were talks about using the vagueness in AC21 which in the clause :
“8 CFR §214.2(h)(13)(E)(2): Extensions may be granted until a final decision is made to revoke an approved IV, approve or deny an IV application, or approve or deny an adjustment of status application.” (Read Full Article here)
Apparently the use of the word “may” created a sense of insecurity which drove a million people and their lawyers to freak out and assume they are not going to be allowed to extend H1s beyond 6 years.
I even had a couple of friends call me about immigrating to Australia and Canada with their families because they cannot live in the US anymore ( I am not an immigration consultant, however I am a permanent resident of Australia although I don’t live there now. May be someday! Those beaches sure are inviting (to know more about immigrating to Australia Read about Skill Select, I will write a separate post for that). That was the extent to which people believed that it was happening.
In reality there were no Bills passed, No laws passed, not even a tweet by our infamous President. No talks in the house or the Senate about it. It was a comment made by government officials about an executive order that broached the subject of H1B Visa, which drove a million people to think about mass migrating back to their home country, with their American born Children.
On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order, which seeks to create higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers and to protect their economic interests by rigorously enforcing and administering our immigration laws. It also directs DHS, in coordination with other agencies, to advance policies to help ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries (read full article here)
I am a skeptical person but people had me so convinced that I had to go through the congress website for Bills that were passed on the subject of H1B so I can prove them wrong. (Here is the congress website). That is what I did. My next step would have been to call my senator, but before that happened, a new article was posted claiming the News to be false. Order was returned to the H1B world again. The worst part in all of this is that this was not the first time a media manufactured threat to H1B spread mass panic among skilled immigrants.
My lesson from this whole sequence of events is that in a world exploding with information, it is critical to validate information out there. It cannot be left up-to an individual news reader to chase a source and vet information. We need to question every piece of information and have them validated not by a centralized institution or media but by peer-to-peer contracts that go right to the source and drive this by providing incentives for fact checking. Instead of attaching value to mere information, why not attach value to the authenticity of the information. In other words, why not attach value to facts rather than just information. The only way to accomplish this is to use Blockchain Technology.
Blockchain can decentralize media and can be used to validate news right from the source. If there can be a decentralized currency that can be so valuable, why not get access to decentralized information validated by a peer to peer network of content creators and fact checkers connected to a distributed ledger. This way the right facts could be rewarded and incorrect information penalized. Penalizing incorrect information is as important as rewarding a valid information, and this is where a distributed ledger will come in handy. Countries like Germany have started looking at penalty for fake information on social media as legislation. Right to freedom of expression is critical but there should also be a way for people who absorb information to be wary of how much to trust a piece of information.
If applied to social media, Blockchain will change the social media from being content creation platforms to credible content creation platforms, as individual contributors strive to post credible information that cannot be questioned by fact checkers or penalized for insufficient research, before posting or sharing information.
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Here is an illustration of the theory:
Imagine this as a Network of Content providers, Fact checkers and General Public who absorb content and can assume any of the roles at all points in time and rewarded or charged a certain contractual amount in crypto-currency.
#highskilled #immigration #h1B #factchecking #blockchainmedia