Daily Mail website branded unaccountable by fake news watchdog

Microsoft's Edge browser is warning visitors to the Daily Mail's website to exercise caution as the website has decisively failed the test of accuracy and accountability and has damaged reputations, caused widespread alarm, and invaded people's privacy.

The alert is being issued by NewsGuard, a startup firm that employs experienced journalists to analyze news websites for fake news, misinformation, and disinformation. The firm has taken up the mantle of highlighting news sites that knowingly publish falsehoods or propaganda and rates them on a scale of one to five based on their credibility.

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In August last year, NewsGuard announced that its service will be available as free plugins for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers and users of these browsers would be able to view "Nutrition ratings" of news websites and opinion pages.

"Whether it’s the website of a newspaper, broadcaster, opinion journal, think tank, newly trending blogger or government propaganda arm, all sites in a news feed or search look much the same. Now, with NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels, readers will know who and what’s behind what they’re reading," said NewsGuard co-founder Gordon Crovitz.

Daily Mail failed the test of accuracy and accountability

As we speak, NewsGuard is warning visitors to the Daily Mail's Mail Online website to tread with caution as the website hasn't really passed the standards of journalistic credibility as far as cracking down on fake news, misinformation, and disinformation is concerned.

"Proceed with caution: This website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. This site repeatedly publishes false information and has been forced to pay damages in numerous high-profile cases," the alert reads.

Daily Mail website branded unaccountable by fake news watchdog

The watchdog added that the Daily Mail website repeatedly publishes false content, gathers and presents information irresponsibly, does not handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly, and uses deceptive headlines, thereby earning a nutrition score of 1 out of 5 on credibility.

It added that the Daily Mail website fails in revealing possible conflicts of interest and fails to provide names of content creators, along with either contact or biographical information.

Even though NewsGuide did concede that the Daily Mail website regularly corrects or clarifies errors, clearly labels advertising, and discloses ownership and financing, these factors weren't strong enough to keep the Daily Mail's credibility rating afloat.

Commenting on the rating conferred to the Daily Mail's website, Steve Brill, co-founder of NewsGuard told The Guardian that the rating was fair, had been reached in a transparent manner, and that the team takes complete responsibility for the verdict. The firm is working towards rating the top 150 news websites in the UK and will be releasing the numbers in April.

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