Microsoft Edge on Android to Get NewsGuard to Combat Fake News
On account of the internet being, well, the internet, there is no dearth of “news” sites whose sole purpose is to churn out disinformation. Very often, it is hard to differentiate between a legitimate news source and a shady one, and a lot of major industry bigwigs have been hard at work to help counter “fake news.” One of the websites that helps differentiate actual news from fake news is NewsGuard. Google Chrome already has NewsGuard support for quite some time, and today, Microsoft Edge on Android gets the same.
Microsoft announced NewsGuard integration for the Android version of its Edge browser some time ago. The feature was available only to beta testers, but as of today, NewsGuard in Edge is now available to all Android users. You can download it using this link. According to Microsoft:
NewsGuard uses journalism to fight false news, misinformation, and disinformation. Our trained analysts, who are experienced journalists, research online news brands to help readers and viewers know which ones are trying to do legitimate journalism—and which are not.
Earlier last year, Microsoft rebranded their Microsoft News app with new features, one of which included a ‘fake news detector’. The company claims that the app is ‘mostly free from fake news’ and is encouraging users to use it as their source of daily news. Microsoft claims to use a team of 800 employees located around the world to curate content along with machine learning and AI solutions to help with finding fake news.
Fake news is a real problem, but do we really want companies to define what is real or fake for us? While the companies’ intentions may be pure, they’re essentially telling the average user, “Hey, you’re too dumb to tell a genuine story from a fake one. So we’re going to do it for you” The real problem is when a ‘trusted’ news source publishes a factually incorrect or biased story. Will that get caught in the ‘fake news filter’? Probably not.