eyeo, makers of Adblock Plus, today launched a new web browser extension called Trusted News. The free browser add-on, which is currently in beta, was developed to help internet users spot fake news 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. The classification of each news source was taken from fact-checking organizations and stored in the MetaCert Protocol registry to provide unbiased, democratically assessed information on the integrity of each website and news source. In order to maintain each user’s privacy while using Trusted News, the extension updates its own internal database each day so that users’ browsing activity never touches a central server.
After installing the Trusted News extension into their browsers, users can navigate to websites as usual, but they will now notice a green check-mark or other flags on the extension indicating the nature of the sources used by that website. Besides a green check-mark indicating trustworthiness, other flags mark sites as biased, untrustworthy, satire, clickbait, user-generated content, malicious or unknown.
Users of Trusted News can also contribute to the registry of sites by reporting for evaluation any news sources and other websites that they may discover.
To create an unbiased Trusted News service, the MetaCert Protocol aggregated trust and reputation data from politically independent fact-checking organizations and news sources worldwide, including PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia, Zimdars’ List, and private data sources. These trust signals were organized into one machine-readable database and then cross-referenced with associated social media accounts across the entire web to create the world’s most comprehensive crowd-sourced reputation database. To further scale and incentivize community participation in this massive anti-fake news effort, MetaCert will be moving the core database to the Ethereum blockchain with a new protocol and built-in game mechanics to reward submissions. MetaCert tokens will be issued to track rewards and mitigate the risk of bad actors spoiling the quality of 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.