Microsoft Edge Partners With NewsGuard to Warn You of Fake News

Posted on January 23, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft with 26 Comments

Microsoft this week started rolling out a new update to its Edge browser on iOS. The company is integrating a new news rating feature into the browser, powered by data from NewsGuard.

The news rating feature warns users of fake news, and of publications that fail to maintain accuracy in their reporting. The Guardian reports that NewsGuard warns users of sites like Daily Mail, which is generally known for tabloid reporting that often can be very inaccurate.

NewsGuard is an organization that uses real humans to review thousands of websites on the web, scoring them on 9 different factors, and giving them an overall rating of green or red. There are two other ratings, one for sites that generally post user-generated content, and one for satire sites.

The addition of NewsGuard on Edge is an interesting move from Microsoft, especially since the feature comes built-in with the browser. Although it is disabled by default, the direct integration does make it much easier to enable and gives users a quick and trusted way of avoiding fake news on the web. Microsoft, however, continues to deliver content from some of these untrusted publishers — including Daily Mail — on its Microsoft News platform, which seems like a much bigger problem.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Microsoft Edge Partners With NewsGuard to Warn You of Fake News”

  1. maethorechannen

    I wonder if the Daily Mail will sue. Or at the very least start some anti-MS campaign.

  2. Awhispersecho

    Don't need a liberal company deciding what's fake news anymore than a conservative company should decide what's fake news. No company or side should be given the authority to dictate what is news and what isn't based on whether or not it fits their agenda. It's bad enough our traditional news networks have turned to this policy as the only actual "news" they report, tech companies and social media companies need to be stopped from doing this.

    I imagine liberals like the idea of tech and social networking companies determining what is real or fake and conservatives don't which proves my point about the big issue here.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Awhispersecho:

      It depends on what they are doing. Having a story flagged as fake news, when it has been proven to be fake is not a bad thing. They aren't blocking it, just giving a flag to say it is fake.

      There was a story here, Germany, 2 weeks ago that the leader of the Alternativ für Deutschland in Hamburg (Alternative for Germany, an ultra-right-wing political group) was attacked and hit over the head with a 2x4. They made a press-release and showed a picture of the man with a wound on the forehead and a black eye and that it was politically motivated.

      A day later, the police released the surveillance footage, asking for help in identifying the attackers. On the video a couple of youths in hoodies approach the man from behind and push him, he falls on the cobble stones and does a face plant. Very different to the original "fake" story about him being hit on the noggin with a 2x4.

      Marking a newspaper, like the Daily Fail, as fake news generally is a bad idea. I am no fan of the Mail, but much of what they publish is not fake news, but they do put a political bias on some stories to fit their agenda. That such stories are flagged with a warning is understandable, but not the entire publication.

      I think that is where the problem lies, at least in the description in the article, it implies that sites are marked as trustworthy or not, not the individual stories. If they are going to do this, then they need to do it properly.

      • maethorechannen

        In reply to wright_is:

        I think the problem the Daily Hate has run into is that it`s a British news source being judged by American fantasies that news sources are somehow supposed to be nothing but sources of unbiased , objective truth. It`s not an unbiased source of objective truth, but then I don`t believe it`s ever claimed that it was.

        Whether it`s the Mail, the Guardian, the Telegraph, etc, if you're in the UK then you know how much salt you need to pinch before reading, unless all you want to do is wallow in your own political beliefs. I think for Americans, the idea that you need to pinch salt before reading news is unsettling.

        • wright_is

          In reply to maethorechannen:

          I agree with you on that.

          But I think the other point I made, that it has to be at the article level for most sites is very important.

          What if the Mail, Express, Guardian, NYT or WSJ gets caught up in a fake news story? Do you mark the whole site as suspicious? That is overkill and makes the add-on a waste of time. It needs to be a per-story rating - which you just can't do with the current method of ex-journalists grading the sites, it would need to be ML or AI.

        • paulwp187

          In reply to maethorechannen:

          I totally agree. It's almost as if individuals are responsible for themselves rather than some authoritative power.

  3. kjb434

    Instantly disabled this feature on Edge on my phone. The NewsGuard feature is funded by a group that attempting to save the advertising model for traditional news media.

  4. kellyjaye

    Thank you MS for reason #546 for me NOT to use Edge.

    Your winners & losers:

    "REAL" - CNN, BuzzFeed, HuffPo, Media Matters, Rolling Stone, Weekly Standard

    "FAKE" - Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, The Daily Mail, The Drudge Report, WikiLeaks


    I'll decide myself for myself who to blacklist.

  5. waethorn

    So this affects, what, like 17 users in total?

    Nobody uses Edge. Doesn't matter which platform.

  6. paulwp187

    Nice to see so many common sense opinions in the comments here. I've seen similar topics in Ars Technica with very authoritarian views in the comments section.

  7. red.radar

    But who checks the fact-checkers....

    This is a tool ripe for abuse and only reinforces group think.

  8. glenn8878

    Start with BuzzFeed

  9. Daekar

    How this doesn't terrify everyone is beyond me. It's like nobody understands human psychology OR history.

  10. George Semple

    I turned it off when it told me BuzzFeed was a reliable news site...

  11. j_c

    Don't like this one bit. The "real" news will simply be publications run by very large corporations and the very few who don't question them or make waves. These massive corporations will eventually just buy out or in some other way take over these "guardian" services. The few independents will know better than to say the wrong thing for fear of being labeled an outcast.

    Good news is governments and corporations have never lied (sarcasm) and convention/consensus has always proven itself to be right over small groups of people thinking different and questioning authority (more sarcasm).

    It's off by default for now so comfort there. But like Google building a censored search engine the fact that it exists and could be made the de'facto worries me.

  12. the_real_entheos

    I don't need this, but it would be nice for all to know which news outlets keep their toes well inside the corporate line. For me this is just about every mainstream outlet, most every right wing radio blowhard, and a good many left wing websites that have bought out by some corporate types ( Daily Beast, Mother Jones).

  13. Bollaram Parsad

    Thanks, I prefer to be told what to believe.

  14. harmjr

    I want to test this out. I wish they had a meme reader that would test out Facebook memes. I am tired to telling people that their forwarded meme is fake.

  15. paulwp187

    Left wing newspaper criticises right wing newspaper and supports newsguard.

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