Update – Brian Gluckman has made the following update:
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
Companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have been at the receiving end of complaints in recent months. Many legislators and the public have been accusing them of allowing fake news to overtake the internet. However, both companies have enlisted fact-checking organizations to help them. This has led to a recent debate over the authenticity of the Mail Online.
One of Microsofts fact checking companies NewsGuard has labelled Daily Mail “untrustworthy.” The company, which includes the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, create online and printed newspapers.
Users of the Microsoft Edge browser will now see a message that rates Mail Online a one out of five for credibility. This is the same as the Kremlin-backed RT news service.
The Daily Mail has a readership that is second only to The Sun in the UK. Both the tabloid and online outlets are rated by NewsGuard as “generally failing to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”
When Edge users click onto the Mail Online, they will see a shield to warn them of the content. NewsGuard claims that the site “regularly publishes content that has damaged reputations.” They also state that the site fails to handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly.
The NewsGuard app is run by a team of veteran journalists including Gordon Crovitz, who is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
Rather than use an algorithm, NewsGuard editor’s review and rate websites based on criteria. This is based on whether the site regularly publishes false content, or reveals conflicts of interest.
If the site fails this test, NewsGuard emails the site to ask for comment. The Mail Online was also contacted but declined to respond.
A spokesperson for the Mail Online said that they are now talking to NewsGuard to rectify this “egregiously erroneous classification.”