- Microsoft is now warning users about fake news on its Edge mobile browser.
- The tech giant is offering the service through its partnership with NewsGuard, a news publication rating service.
- NewsGuard was already available as an extension on the desktop version of the web browser prior to the mobile release.
Microsoft has been aggressively pushing feature updates that focus on privacy and user experience for its Edge mobile browser. The tech giant introduced a new feature that alerts Edge mobile users about news websites that do not maintain accuracy and accountability. The feature was added to the mobile browser thanks to Microsoft’s partnership with NewsGuard.
NewsGuard is an online service that is run by veterans from the news industry who are trying to set a benchmark for credibility amongst publications. It does not rely on artificial intelligence of fancy algorithms. Instead, analysts employed by NewsGuard manually check if websites meet predefined standards. The NewsGuard browser extension was implemented on Microsoft Edge for Windows users last year, and it finally made it into the mobile version of the browser as well.
Even though Microsoft has failed to attract the same amount of audience Firefox and Chrome have been able to, the feature is groundbreaking with most publications failing to take ownership of spreading fake news. One of the surprising ratings seen from NewsGuard staff is for Daily Mail. The publication has been rated just one out of five. NewsGuard CEO Steve Brill stated They can blame us. And we’re happy to be blamed. Unlike the platforms, we’re happy to be accountable.”
NewsGuard operates by licensing the service to tech companies that want to fight misinformation campaigns. It remains to be seen if companies like Google and Mozilla partner with the company or if they start offering a similar implementation on their own. The new feature is available on both Android and iOS versions of Microsoft’s mobile browser starting this week, and it is completely optional.