Trusted News is a beta extension that is currently only available to Chrome users. The project’s website reveals that the browser add-on searches and detects fake news media while singling out reliable outlets and articles. Once the story has been added to the browser, the extension shows a small window with a short description that features the tags “trustworthy”, “unknown”, “clickbait” or even “satire.”
Ratings have been established on data accumulated by different sources, including PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia and Zimdars’ List. The extension functions along with the MetaCert protocol, which makes use of an anti-fraud URL registry to manage the database for the project.
The database will ultimately be moved on the Ethereum blockchain. The company also has stated that it will issue MetaCert tokens, which will be used to track rewards and to prevent ill-intentioned actors to manipulate data.
The company’s director of ecosystems, Ben Williams, said that Trusted News will feature an option in which users can give feedback on certain ratings and they can even contest a certain rating.
“They can say ‘hey I don’t feel like this site should be listed as biased because whatever’. And we’re going to use that feedback to make the product better. And then the next step is to decouple that from any server, and from any third party, and give it directly to the blockchain. So that feedback can live on its own in that place and so that good feedback can be prized and rewarded among users, and people who are providing bad feedback won’t be. So that is the next step,” said Williams.
Williams emphases that the project is barely in its testing phase and that eyeo wants to figure out if the product will be useful to users. He also stated that there will be websites will be “whitelisted” to bypass ratings.
If the product becomes popular with web users, upcoming versions could feature “fine-grained detail[s],” such as the option to report bias in news stories based on which political side they belong to.
However, not just eyeo manifested a desire to take out fake news. Facebook announced last year that it will make trust indicators for articles posted on the social media platform. Google also stated in March 2017, that it will direct its efforts into bringing truthful news and that it will invest $300 million to establish the Google News Initiative platform.