Thursday, 24 January 2019 04:55

Microsoft Edge mobile version lists Daily Mail UK as 'fake news' Featured

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Microsoft Edge mobile version lists Daily Mail UK as 'fake news' Pixabay

Microsoft's Edge browser has labelled the Daily Mail's UK edition as fake news, with the extension named NewsGuard that comes along with the mobile version of its browser making this judgment.

NewsGuard is an extension that is designed to warn readers of sites it considers are dispensing information of a dubious quality.

The blacklisting of the Daily Mail UK was noticed by British security researcher Kevin Beaumont, who tweeted: "Well this is amazing and going to lead to a lawsuit. In the mobile version of Edge, Microsoft ship and enable a plugin called Newsguard which flags fake news sources. They’ve flagged the entire of @DailyMailUK."

The extension has listed the following Daily Mail entities: "The website of the Daily Mail, a British tabloid newspaper, its sister publication, the Mail on Sunday, and MailOnline, the Daily Mail's online newsroom. The site repeatedly publishes false information and has been forced to pay damages in numerous high-profile cases."

Of itself, NewsGuard says: "Our Green-Red ratings signal if a website is trying to get it right or instead has a hidden agenda or knowingly publishes falsehoods or propaganda. Readers have more context for their news online.

"And advertisers worried about their brands’ reputations keep their ads off unreliable news sites.

"NewsGuard also provides “Nutrition Label” write-ups of the more than 2000 news and information sites that account for 96% of online engagement in the US in English.

"A SWAT team of NewsGuard analysts operates 24/7 to identify suddenly trending purveyors of unreliable news among sites that NewsGuard has not yet rated and warn internet users about them in real time."

NewsGuard lists Fox News as a credible source.

foxnews ok

The BBC reported that the Daily Mail was trying to get its site's classification changed in the NewsGuard extension.

"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," a spokesman for Mail Online said.

A Microsoft spokesperson claimed the extension was not enabled by default in the mobile version.

“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," the spokesperson added.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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