Microsoft takes fake news head on with Edge browser
As fake news becomes widespread, companies have tried different approaches to combat it. Microsoft aims to solve the issue by partnering up with NewsGuard, a company that specializes in detecting fake news.
An update now rolling out to iOS and Android phones show NewsGuard built right into the Edge browser. Desktop users can download the NewsGuard extension for their browsers. NewsGuard has an extension for Edge, Chrome, Safar, and Firefox too.
NewsGuard uses trained journalists to rate different websites based on a number of parameters. These include “whether the site regularly publishes false content, reveals conflicts of interest, discloses financing, or publicly corrects reporting errors.”
Based on the set criteria, every website is then assigned a rating. This can be a green shield indicating that the website checks all the boxes or a red shield indicating that the website publishes false content.
To enable NewsGuard on your mobile version of Edge, make sure to follow these steps:
- Make sure that you have updated Edge to the latest version
- Go to settings menu
- Click on News rating
- Move the toggle to turn on NewsGuard
You will now start seeing a shield appear on various websites. A red shield can be seen when navigating the DailyMail website and a green shield can be seen on websites like the New York Times.
Microsoft Edge isn’t the most popular web browser but this should give other companies an idea as to how they can prevent the spread of fake news. By baking NewsGuard right into the browser, users would not need to download a separate extension. By removing this single step, a huge number of users benefit as many wouldn’t have made effort to download the extension despite the repercussions.
Fake news has started to become a rising concern. Recently India proposed strict social media laws to deter the spread of fake news. With every passing second, it becomes more and more difficult to discern between fake news and real news. It is good to see companies take the initiative before the situation is out of control.