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Microsoft's mobile Edge browser begins issuing fake news warnings

The NewsGuard tool was previously only available as a desktop plug-in.
Saqib Shah, @eightiethmnt
January 23, 2019
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Saqib Shah, Engadget

Microsoft's Edge mobile browser has started flagging fake news sites as part of its latest update for iOS and Android. Previously only available as a desktop plug-in, the feature is powered by news rating company NewsGuard -- which makes a point of using journalists, not algorithms, to identify "unreliable" websites. Its eponymous fake news extension is also available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

NewsGuard can be toggled on via Edge's settings under "news rating." The description boasts that it's "evaluated news websites that account for 98% of online media engagements in the United States." Here's how it works: once enabled, it provides a rating icon in the address bar (red for unreliable and green for trusted). Tap it and you'll see a "nutritional label" with more info. For instance, if a site is flagged as untrustworthy, it reads: "Proceed with caution: this website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability." And, if you see a site sans label, you can submit it for review.

According to The Guardian, the tool is flagging the MailOnline as unreliable. In our tests, we also saw that Breitbart carried a warning but fellow conservative news site The Daily Wire was given the all clear, despite the fact that fact-checking website Snopes has called it out for printing falsehoods. But if you expand its NewsGuard label, it clearly states that the controversial site "does not repeatedly publish false content" -- though it does note that it "regularly corrects or clarifies errors." CNN and Fox News were also deemed as safe. Next up, NewsGuard's creators reportedly want to bring it to more platforms.

In this article: FakeNews, gear, internet, microsoft, mobile
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