Microsoft has announced a collaboration with NewsGuard, a popular website for rating news items based on their legitimacy. The company says the partnership will help users more easily spot fake news items.
NewsGuard will be available as an integration in Microsoft Edge. Specifically, Microsoft says the feature is coming to the beta version of the browser on Android and iOS. Marc Wautier, Program Manager of Microsoft Edge revealed on Twitter the update should be made public soon.
That said, Android seems to be receiving the update slower than iOS users, so may have to wait longer for a public release. Surprisingly, Microsoft has said nothing about NewsGuard coming to Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
Users can still use a NewsGuard integration on Windows, but it means using Google Chrome and not Edge. Of course, most people are already doing that. The sooner Microsoft can get more features to Edge the better, so we guess NewsGuard will come to the Windows 10 browser eventually.
Happy 2019! If you’re on our Edge iOS TestFlight or Android Beta, check out the News Rating feature we’ve built with @NewsGuardRating. We’re very excited to bring more transparency to web news. Turn it on in Settings > News rating & let us know what you think! pic.twitter.com/zgitPhEbmL
— Marc Wautier (@MWautier) January 5, 2019
Edge is a good place for NewsGuard because users may often come across fake news items as they browse. The integration will allow them to spot the bad stories from the good.
While it seems Microsoft News would also be a good candidate for the feature, the service is already well prepared to combat fake news. Last month, Darren Laybourn, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft News described how the company prevents fake news on its service.
Laybourn says Microsoft uses an 800-strong team of employees around the world to curate content. He adds the company is leveraging machine learning and AI to help with finding fake news.
According to the executive, Microsoft News has not faced an issue with fake news thanks to this robust system. Part of that system revolves around the closed nature of the service. Microsoft can avoid fake news publishers by simply not selecting them.
“Well, we’ve got kind of a multi-tier way that we handle it. It’s kind of, it’s a little bit of an art and a little bit of a science. The first step is the publishers. So we worked with all those publishers. We have contracts with each one of them. We actually chose them. It wasn’t that people could just randomly sign up.”