Microsoft Adds NewsGuard to Edge Browser for iOS to Warn Users of Untrustworthy Sites

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Going forward, regular users of Microsoft's Edge mobile browser for iOS can opt to receive warnings when they visit untrustworthy news sites.


The company's browser is integrating NewsGuard, a green-red rating system founded by journalists Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz that evaluates websites using a set of criteria, including the use of deceptive headlines, fake news history, and financial and ownership transparency.

NewsGuard also provides "Nutrition Label" write-ups of more than 2,000 news and information sites that account for 96 percent of online engagement in the U.S. in English.

NewsGuard has existed for some time as an optional privacy extension for Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Edge desktop browsers, but Microsoft's decision to integrate it into its mobile browser as an optional setting signals a growing concern for preventing users' exposure to purveyors of false or misleading news or disinformation online. A Microsoft spokesperson said:

"Microsoft is partnering with NewsGuard to offer the NewsGuard browser extension on Microsoft Edge, and a feature in Microsoft Edge mobile apps for iOS and Android to help our customers evaluate news sources. Across both the browser and the apps, NewsGuard is optional and customers need to take action if they want to use the feature."

As an example of NewsGuard's yardstick for untrustworthiness, The Guardian reports the Edge mobile is now warning users that the Daily Mail's website, Mail Online, "generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability" and "has been forced to pay damages in numerous high-profile cases." Visitors to Russia's state-sponsored RT News website receive a similar warning.

Responding to NewsGuard's warning, a Daily Mail spokesperson provided MacRumors with the following statement:

"We have only very recently become aware of the NewsGuard start-up and are in discussions with them to have this egregiously erroneous classification resolved as soon as possible."

NewsGuard's Steven Brill told The Guardian it takes full responsibility for its ratings. "They can blame us. And we're happy to be blamed," he said. "Unlike the platforms we're happy to be accountable. We want people to game our system. We are totally transparent. We are not an algorithm."

(Via The Verge.)

Top Rated Comments

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23 months ago
This is good for the three people who will use Edge. ;-)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
Newsguard is not objective - it is rated by humans and seems like most humans have a LOT of bias these days.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago

Also good for those of us who read the article and are installing the extension. ;)

Edit: Never mind. They gave Faux News a green light, so they apparently don't actually do their stated purpose of warning you of untrustworthy sites. #uninstalled

*sigh*

Yeah. Any attempt at this kind of plugin is utterly pointless, because people are only looking for something that confirms what they already believe. Absolutely no point in it.

I'm not saying Fox is trustworthy, but that you have an immediate knee jerk reaction like that to anything it says means that it's hopeless. Not you. Humanity. Our brains just aren't wired to handle things we disagree with. It's amazing. Social media has to have the ability to block people - people just can't deal with the possibility that there are differing opinions.

It's shocking that Democracy or civilization works at all with such tribalism.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
This won’t fix the problem. People choose what to believe or not based on their preconceived world view.

If they don’t like the content of an article and NewsGuard labels it as fraud, people will cite NewsGuard as why not to trust it.

If they do like the article, they’ll ignore NewsGuard calling it flawed, or be angry at NewsGuard, calling it biased.

Don’t like an article but NewsGuard says it’s true? NewsGuard is wrong.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago

Amusing to see that it did actually blacklist the Daily Mail, one of the UK's most popular tabloid newspapers.

It’s f***ing hilarious!

"[The Daily Mail] generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability”

Never a truer word spoken.

About time that filthy journalistic embarrassment got blocked!

It’s just a shame it’s only the website, and not the “newspaper” itself.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
Amusing to see that it did actually blacklist the Daily Mail, one of the UK's most popular tabloid newspapers.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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