When you use Microsoft Edge mobile to visit news sites, you’ll get a warning if they have an unreliable reputation. Microsoft has partnered up with the news watchdog organization, NewsGuard, on 16 Jan 2019. Their goal is to provide Edge mobile users with more information about the trustworthiness of the news site they’re visiting.
NewsGuard, our savior?
Journalists Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz started NewsGuard. They rate news sites based on a variety of criteria. This includes click bait titles, whether the site repeatedly publish fake stories, and the transparency about ownership and financing. Microsoft started to offer NewsGuard as an optional extension for Edge on the desktop version of Windows 10 in 2018. Having it implemented in the mobile version suggests that Microsoft may be putting fighting against fake news as a core part of their business.
Edge users would see a summary card that summarizes the reputation of the site they are visiting. The news site has to meet the standards of reliable and objective reporting. The Guardian pointed out that Edge mobile is now warning users when visiting the Daily Mail’s website. The Daily Mail has “generally failed to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.” according to Edge mobile. The Daily Mail has been regarded as an untrustworthy news source by the public. Now NewsGuard officially rated as untrustworthy.
Significant Move by Microsoft
Edge mobile isn’t widely used, but this move by Microsoft is still significant. NewsGuard has previously made a browser extension in the same capacity for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and other browsers. However, it is integrated on Edge mobile. No one has done it at the browser level before. Other tech companies, like Facebook, have all invested in similar projects. It is great to see more companies join the fight against fake news.