New web browser helps Internet users combat fake news
eyeo, makers of Adblock Plus launched a new web browser extension Wednesday to combat fake news. The free browser add-on, called Trusted News, was developed to help internet users spot dubious sources while keeping users’ web browsing history completely private.
Developed in partnership with MetaCert Protocol, eyeo’s Trusted News extension works by checking domains, websites, and news sources against the world’s largest network of fact-checking databases. News sources and Internet sites are taken through a fact-checking system involving trusted organizations and then stored in the MetaCerta Protocol’s registry to assess the veracity of said source. The database of fact-checking resources includes notable sites like PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia, Zimdars’ List, as well as private data sources.
The service is also 100 percent private as extension updates allow users to never be connected to a central server where their data or information can be tracked. Once downloaded, users are able to surf the Internet as they normally do, but they will see notifications on their toolbar alerting them to the status of each site that then further details the nature of the sources given. Users will see a green check for a site deemed trustworthy or other flags labeling sites as biased, untrustworthy, satire, clickbait, user-generated content, malicious or unknown. Touting itself as the world’s most complete crowd-sourced reputation database, MetaCert cross-references social media accounts across the Internet and puts it into a machine-readable database. MetaCert further incentivizes community participation, on top of user-reported data, by migrating its database to the Ethereum blockchain that ultimately rewards submissions with its token rewards that may ultimately limit pranksters or bad actors wanting to spoil the data.
“Fake news is profoundly affecting our society and our ability to make informed decisions as citizens. While we don’t profess to have solved the entire problem yet, we are proud to launch Trusted News as a first, humble step that we will continue to improve as it pushes beyond beta,” said Till Faida, CEO of eyeo. “Trusted News is still new, but there are two secrets in the sauce. First, it is a solution for users, not an ambitious plan to reform platforms or information sources; and second, it separates the fact-checkers determining what is fake and what is not from the actual product applying the determination.”
The MetaCert Protocol is an open security protocol for the internet, storing trust and reputation information about Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) including domain names, applications, bots, social media accounts, cryptocurrency wallet addresses, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and content classification. The Protocol’s registry, built on the Ethereum blockchain, is machine-readable and queryable for use by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), routers, crypto exchanges, Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile devices, browsers, websites, and applications to help address cyber threats such as phishing, malware, online brand protection, child safety and news credibility.
About eyeo GmbH
eyeo is the developer of Adblock Plus, an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 1 Billion times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC Magazine named the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received About.com readers’ choice award for best privacy/security add-on. #BlockBetter
Adblock Plus is a free browser add-on for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon and Opera for desktop users, and offers a free browser for mobile users on iOS and Android.