Microsoft Edge Now Warns You About Fake News Sites

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Microsoft's Edge browser will now warn you when the website you're visiting is untrustworthy. 

Users will now see a notification at the top of their edge browser telling them not to trust certain news outlets. The Daily Mail's website Mail Online is among the more popular sites Edge is urging users to stay away from. 

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In the case of the Daily Mail, visitors are being shown the message: "The site regularly publishes content that has damaging reputations, caused widespread alarm, or constituted harassment or invasion of privacy."

Microsoft is working with NewsGuard, a website that rates news organizations based on their credibility and transparency, to implement the warnings. The watchdog organization manually scores news organizations based on the accuracy of their reporting, how proactive they are at admitting and fixing errors, and whether they use clickbait headlines to lure visitors to their site.

NewsGuard made it clear that it stands behind its methods, and that anyone who feels they were unfairly scored should contact them, not Microsoft.

"They can blame us. And we're happy to be blamed," Steve Brill, co-founder at NewsGuard, told the Guardian, "Unlike the platforms, we're happy to be accountable."

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The fake news-fighting feature offered by NewsGuard is available on Microsoft Edge on Android and iOS as an optional setting. As the Verge reports, NewsGuard was first added to Edge last year as a browser extension. It appears the continued discourse around how to protect people from misinformation has prompted Microsoft to expand the tool.

To enable the feature, download the Edge app on your device, then go into settings and choose "News ratings." From there, just move the "Display rating on address bar" slider to the right. You will then start to see a red shield to the left of a URL when you visit a website deemed untrustworthy. 

Some of the biggest names in tech are struggling to combat fake news on their platforms. By baking it right into Edge, Microsoft is giving its users the tools needed to avoid deceptive journalism. Edge accounts for only a tiny sliver of the browser market share but giving users reassurance that the news their reading is fair and accurate could change that.