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NewsGuard plug-in rates the Daily Mail as untrustworthy

The Daily Mail has said that the web browser alert that criticizes its journalism should be changed, according to the BBC.

The NewsGuard plug-in issues a warning whenever someone with the plug-in installed browses a news article from the paper’s website. The plug-in warns users that the newspaper’s website “generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability”. The text further reads that the Mail “has been forced to pay damages in numerous high-profile cases.”

As well as being an optional plug-in for browsers (which people need to opt in for), Microsoft is partnering with NewsGuard to offer the NewsGuard browser extension on Microsoft Edge, and a feature in Microsoft Edge mobile apps for iOS and Android to help our customers evaluate news sources

In terms of relative standing, NewsGuard awards The Daily Mail’s website — Mail Online, which is one of the world’s biggest news websites — one out of five on credibility. This low rating is the same level as the Kremlin-backed RT news service.

In contrast, one of the Mail’s rival papers, The Guardian, has been given a trustworthy rating by NewsGuard. This is not simply a matter of right-wing conservatism (The Daily Mail) versus left-of-center liberalism (The Guardian), for Fox News, which often covers similar news content to the Daily Mail, has been deemed satisfactory by NewsGuard.

NewsGuard has defended its warning issue and says that it alerted The Daily Mail in August that there were concerns over bias in its reporting and with some articles that did not stand up to a scrutiny of the facts. Newsguard co-founder Steve Brill is quoted by The Drum as saying: “We spell out fairly clearly in the label exactly how many times we have attempted to contact them. The analyst that wrote this writeup got someone on the phone who, as soon he heard who she was and where she was calling from, hung up. As of now, we would love to hear if they have a complaint or if they change anything.”

For more on media bias, read Digital Journal’s interview with Dr. Tania Ahuja of the company Nobias. The company develops tools that can flag bias in news and grade articles for credibility

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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