Before his untimely death in 2017, fake news writer Paul Horner claimed he made over $10 000 a month gleefully pawning Trump supporters into beholding ads on his site by baiting them with ideologically salacious stories (“Barack Obama Gay” and “Barack Obama: Patron of Radical Muslims”) -stories designed to go viral by any means.
Though Horner claimed he was satirizing ridiculous narratives and gullible Trump supporters with his work, he also believed his writing helped elect Trump, something he “felt bad” about.
Liberals and leftists have also circulated fake stories designed to confirm some bias or other, and many more fake news issues have lately come to light as Facebook undergoes scrutiny for how it monetizes and, perhaps, fails to responsibly moderate its network.
Concerned individuals, meanwhile, can now make things clearer for themselves by downloading a free extension to their Google chrome browser called Trusted News.
Trusted News is the brainchild of partners Adblock Plus and Metacert, a cybersecurity company that maintains a large database of classified web addresses that allows it to filter out “unsafe URLs,” such as pornography sites, from being accessed and circulated on workplace networks, etc.
Metacert claims it will soon log this database on a blockchain.
The two companies’ new Trusted News filtration extension displays an icon in the top right corner of user screens. A green “check mark” means the site is trustworthy, a red “B” means biased.
Other icons indicate satire, malicious, clickbait, user-generated or unknown content.
Trusted News seeks to be politically neutral and welcomes user feedback:
If you disagree with the rating, you have the opportunity to give us feedback. We are not trying to make any political statement or change your behavior. We are looking for a way to help you think critically about the sites you visit.
Trusted News is still a beta product at this time, and is so far only available in English.
And FYI- AdBlock does collect some data on users of its services, and Metacert could not be reached for comment before publication.
Please check their Privacy Terms of Service.