How Browser Fact Checker Extensions are Coming

With the spread of fake news, fact checking is becoming a hot subject. In this Gartner blog ‘Fact-checker Extensions Should be Standard on Every Browser‘ a possible evolution of browsers is described where news would be automatically rated according to their truthfulness

A pop-up warning that a news item or website contains dubious or disputed information will not save us from bad information, but it will at least get people thinking. They will need to make a conscious decision to ignore the warning. Hopefully they will instead consider the links and references provided to more reality-based sources. This is basic digital literacy.

It happens that many of those plug-ins seem to be already available (at least in English) and some are mentioned in the post. They will provide warnings and truthfulness indexes to sites and news consulted by the user. At least this would prompt verification across sources.

Of course this will not prevent some people from believing that this would be some additional conspiracy preventing them to spread their truth, or people just igniring the warnings. Fake news are not new: what’s new is that they can spread globally and exponentially for zero cost. Identifying fake news is a first step in regaining our freedom.

I am looking forward to good quality fake news checking to become standard. Of course in this weapon race fake news will become better at evading the checks and there will be an ever continuing race to uphold real facts.