Without consulting with its users, Microsoft has installed an establishment media browser extension, purportedly designed to rate the accuracy of news websites, as a default extension on mobile versions of its Edge browser. In practice, it creates a news blacklist by warning users away from sites including Breitbart News, The Drudge Report, and the Daily Mail.
The browser extension, called “Newsguard,” presents users with a red warning label if they navigate to a website that it judges to be unreliable. A “green” rating is given to websites that NewsGuard considers trustworthy.
A number of pro-Trump websites, including Breitbart News, are given a “red” rating by the extension.
The website of the conservative-leaning British newspaper The Daily Mail, which has the third-highest circulation in the U.K., is also given a “red” rating. Newsguard says the site “fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”
WikiLeaks, which has never had to retract a story due to false or misleading information, is also given a “red” rating.
Among the websites given a “green” rating is BuzzFeed, which was recently humiliated for publishing alleged details about the ongoing Mueller investigation that were contradicted by the special prosecutor himself. BuzzFeed did not retract the story, and even led with it on its front page … after Mueller contradicted it.
But in Newsguard’s view, BuzzFeed “regularly corrects or clarifies errors.”