MICROSOFT IS taking the fight against fake news to one of its worst offenders.
For the uninitiated, the Daily Mail is a collection of bigoted words masquerading as a newspaper, and now it appears that Microsoft's Edge browser feels the same.
When looking at Mail Online (which people do, in sickeningly high numbers) through the Microsoft Edge browser on mobile are now greeted with a message from fake-news tracker called NewsGuard warning that: "this website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability" and "has been forced to pay damages in numerous high-profile cases".
It goes on to warn users to proceed with caution and scores the site on its five-star scale. With a one. That's the same score as Breitbart and RT.
Newsguard is not integrated on the desktop version of Edge, though it may end up being added when the browser is rewritten in Chromium later in the year. At the moment, it is available as an extension for the desktop version.
As for NewsGuard, founder Steve Brill is belligerent about the decision and even tells of how the Mail refused to deal with them in this extract from the Guardian:
"We spell out fairly clearly in the label exactly how many times we have attempted to contact them. The analyst that wrote this writeup got someone on the phone who, as soon he heard who she was and where she was calling from, hung up. As of now, we would love to hear if they have a complaint or if they change anything."
Newsguard says that it fully owns the decision and that Microsoft has nothing to do with it: "We want people to game our system. We are totally transparent. We are not an algorithm."
Newsguard already works on over 2000 US publications and there are plans to make sure the top 150 news sites in the UK are similarly rated.
Microsoft has clarified, as it, too, wants to be clear that Newsguard is a third party (which we thought we'd made abundantly clear, but hey:
"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."
As for the Daily Mail? Unsurprisingly, there's been no comment. μ
It's the week in Google news
Erik Estrada wouldn't have stood for this
Hacks in support of WikiLeaks founder target gov websites