Microsoft's Edge Mobile Browser Gets Built-In Tool That Fights Against Fake News


Microsoft is adding a feature that warns users of fake news to its Edge browser on mobile called NewsGuard.

Via the latest update, the new tool is baked into the app, meaning there's no installation required. In other words, it's available regardless of whether the user opts in for it or not. It's set to off by default, though.

Filtering Fake News

When it's on, it'll tell users whether a news website can be trusted or not. If the user is on a trustworthy site, then it'll display a green rating icon in the address bar, but if it isn't, then it'll display a red one.

These icons can be clicked to get an explanation behind a website's rating, listing down the reasons on two sections: Credibility and Transparency. Descriptions include things like "Does not repeatedly publish false content," "Regularly corrects or clarifies errors," and "Clearly labels advertising."

"NewsGuard's ratings cover websites that account for 96 percent of engagement online in the U.S. These ratings by NewsGuard's trained journalists are based on nine journalistic criteria of credibility and transparency, applied equally to all news websites," the company says.

It's worth noting that NewsGuard isn't owned by Microsoft. It's a New York startup that consists of trained journalists, whose credentials and background are available online, aiming to curb fake news.

The update is rolling out to the mobile version of Edge for Android and iOS. Previously, the tool was available only as a desktop extension for Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Uncalled-For Ratings

It's not a stretch to think that some news websites won't like the rating they get. As Business Insider reports, some notable names such as Russia Today and Al Jazeera have been tagged with a red icon.

For instance, the extension slapped the Daily Mail with a warning as well, and the tabloid isn't happy about it, demanding NewsGuard to change it, as reported by BBC.

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