Fight Fake News With This Chrome Extension

Chrome: The same open-source software company that wants to keep covert cryptocurrency mining out of your browser also wants to keep "fake news" from enriching your life. Or, at the very least, Eyeo wants to show you whether your favourite news sites are full of FUD and bias.

If that's your cup of tea, take a big, strong sip; if not, you can move along knowing you weren't suckered in by outrageous statements and outright falsifications.

Eyeo's brand-new Trusted News extension, currently available for Chrome, assesses news sites you visit based on critiques from four different sources:

100 per cent safe, unless you absolutely hate The New York Times, in which case this extension probably won't change your mind much. Screenshot: David Murphy

When you visit a site that a majority of Trusted News' sources consider a legitimate provider of news, you'll see a little green check. Keep on reading; you're safe.

If the website is blatantly satire, you'll see a blue smiley face. Laugh and laugh and laugh, but don't post its content on Facebook as a real warning to your friends and loved ones.

If the site "knowingly publishes false and/or misleading information," according to Trusted News' analysis, it gets a red exclamation mark. Bad. Sites that promote politically biased content receive an orange scale icon, and sites that are blatantly clickbait get a red bullseye. Sites that are full of malware, if that's what you like to visit, get a big red "X".

Of course, one person's satire is another person's Sunday paper, and Eyeo director of communications Ben Williams recently told TechCrunch that the company is also looking to bring user ratings into the analyses:

So initially what we're going to do in a few weeks is incorporate something where users can just provide feedback through the extension. And they can dispute something. They can say "hey I don't feel like this site should be listed as biased because whatever". And we're going to use that feedback to make the product better.

And then the next step is to decouple that from any server, and from any third party, and give it directly to the blockchain. So that that feedback can live on its own in that place and so that good feedback can be prized and rewarded among users, and people who are providing bad feedback won't be. So that is the next step.

Yes, the blockchain. Haven't you heard? Everyone wants their own special currency that will make them a millionaire if it takes off. And, apparently, if you provide good data on the legitimacy of the news sites you enjoy, you might be able to earn some "MetaCert tokens", which will hopefully be worth more than a Stanley Nickel some day.

So, how does Trusted News perform? CNN earns the green check - sorry, President Trump - and Breitbart gets an orange scale for "bias". NPR scores big with a green check, and Fox News also walks away green.

As for sites such as "Angry Patriot Movement", you probably don't need an extension to tell you the score, but your friends or loved ones might.


Comments

    I'll give this a go, but how effective is it for Australian sources?

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