Microsoft Now Decides if Climate Change News or Other Content is Reliable

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Microsoft have released a plugin for their Edge browser, which uses Newsguard ratings to mark Buzzfeed as reliable, and Breitbart, Drudge and Wikileaks as untrustworthy. At the time of writing they haven’t yet made up their mind about WUWT.

Microsoft Teams with Establishment ‘NewsGuard’ to Create News Blacklist

23 Jan 2019
Allum Bokhari

Without consulting with its users, Microsoft has installed an establishment media browser extension, purportedly designed to rate the accuracy of news websites, as a default extension on mobile versions of its Edge browser. In practice, it creates a news blacklist by warning users away from sites including Breitbart News, The Drudge Report, and the Daily Mail.

The browser extension, called “Newsguard,” presents users with a red warning label if they navigate to a website that it judges to be unreliable. A “green” rating is given to websites that NewsGuard considers trustworthy.

A number of pro-Trump websites, including Breitbart News, are given a “red” rating by the extension.

Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/01/23/microsoft-teams-with-establishment-newsguard-to-create-news-blacklist/

To see this new feature you need to install Edge on your iPhone or Android device, or perhaps use the Edge browser on your Microsoft computer.

For fun I pulled up a few screenshots of the ratings of Buzzfeed, Breitbart and WUWT;

The “reliable” rating for Buzzfeed in my opinion seems a little questionable, given their recent fake news embarrassment.

But the real question in my mind is, if Microsoft tells you web content is reliable, are they liable if you act on the content and suffer harm or loss?

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180 thoughts on “Microsoft Now Decides if Climate Change News or Other Content is Reliable

  1. I installed that plug-in.
    Very quickly I realized it was not accurate.
    It said I could always trust CNN. Really ??

    • I presume they define trustworthy as mainstream. So when CNN, the Guardian or NBC distorts facts or mixes opinion with news, that’s trustworthy because it’s mainstream. When Breitbart does it a bit bitterly and very noticeably, they’re not trusworthy. Both are full of opinion. Breitbart is not mainstream.

      The more they try, the more you see what they do. They just try to legitimize shutting down any /efficient/ minority conservative, antiradical speech. Whether you are for AGW adaptation, extending the existing Mexican-US border wall, prosecuting Hillary Clinton, stopping lawless entry into the country, spreading optimism on climate issues, or against redefining words like family and marriage, they do attack with full power against your freedom to speak and gain audience.

    • Obviously Microsoft is not to be trusted. Been like that since the first desktops and MSDOS computers, but definitely flexing its corporate muscle nowadays.

      However, this tip may help. still use the EDGE browser, but I use the search engine https://duckduckgo.com which cuts out a lot of nuisance ads etc. and is quite suitable for me anyway.
      Although it is not entirely clear, it appears that Microsoft’s new Ap is incorporated in the MS Search Engine therefore by using a different(clean) search engine it appears one can avoid Microsoft’s new plugin.

      Good Luck

      Cheers

      Roger
      http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com (I wonder if my websites are monitored?, If you see some evidence of this, please let me know!)

      • “Microsoft is not to be trusted. Been like that since the first desktops and MSDOS computers…”

        From the early years Gates has been know in the industry as a technology thief. His standard modus operandi has been to sign a joint development contract with a company that has technology he desires. He first sends in a team of his ‘experts’ to work on a new development project under that contract. After a years or so the contract is terminated and he runs off with the technology and leaves the other company to belly-up from his competition. I knew several people that got Gates’d by him.

      • Even duckduckgo.com has major flaws in its search engine.

        If you search for Uk material on .uk sites, you still get 80%+ of page 1 links being US sites talking about US issues.

        Web search engines are becoming US propaganda tools to such an extent that the rest of the world must develop their own search engines.

        • i liked Ixquick a lot
          but for some reason updated firefox knocks it out
          Ive heard of another called Brave, supposed to be private and less ads etc
          I use Blur by Abine to stop tracking remove ads etc
          works for 95% of em , i reckon
          using msoft until this pc dies
          then new s/hand laptop all cleaned and Linux loaded;-)

      • Obviously Microsoft is not to be trusted. Been like that since the first desktops and MSDOS computers, but definitely flexing its corporate muscle nowadays.

        Newsguard ain’t done, till non-MSM websites don’t run.

  2. Given the current lack of respect for all things deemed to be part of the “establishment”, this could backfire

  3. This is greatly disturbing.
    It seems like it infringes on restraint-of-trade issues.
    How would this be any different than a trade bloc (cartel) colluding to prohibit goods made by “disadvantaged ethnic groups” because they disagreed with their politics?

      • I completely agree. You can clearly demonstrate bias and they are the default browser on the world’s most used OS.

          • Let’s not confuse belief with truth HotScot.
            It is true the earth orbits the sun. It was once a belief of the Church run Governments that the sun orbited the earth.
            It is true the climate changes and has been changing since the birth of the planet. We will look back on the early 21st century as a Post Modernist Period when the Governments of the World wished for us to believe that the climate changed solely on the slight variation (a few hundredths of a million particles) of a trace element CO2 in the atmosphere and that it was all due to man burning fossil fuel and the best part is that the government could implement regulations and fees that would stabilize the climate like setting a thermostat in you home. And therefore mankind would be saved from himself.
            truth vs belief big difference.

          • @HotScott
            Their only ‘truth’ is that ‘truth is subjective and/or culturally defined’. That is the poison that has infected our universities.

    • Other things that are also deeply disturbing: 1000 Internet trolls working for the Internet Research Agency in Saint Petersburg to create dissension in America. RT is the biggest source of videos on YouTube. InfoWars. The alleged child sex ring at the Cosmic Ping Pong Pizzeria which spread through right wind websites like wildfire right before and after the election and prompted a shooting incident more than a month later. Trump’s National Security Advisor was re-tweeting and endorsing this story!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizzagate_conspiracy_theory

      There IS a problem and the liberals that control large Internet companies are already doing something about it. This browser plugin is only part of a MUCH larger effort. Unfortunately, the only fact-checking organizations they can rely upon are off-shoots of the liberal press and there is no appealing their judgment.

      • The Pizzagate thing might have originated in Russia (I have my doubts) – but it spread because of US right/alt-right websites

        • Griff, Oz, Jeff: Who knows how many people believe what they read? What we do know is that they are much more likely to forward to their friends sensational Fake News like the sex ring at the pizzeria than “real news”.

          Comey, Strzok, Brennan, Clapper or a half dozen others could easily have leaked the existence of the FBI investigation into the Steele Dossier and connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. The sensational stories that broke in January 2017, could – if their were a pre-election conspiracy against Trump – have appeared in October 2016. (Only a few Americans saw the relatively tame stories in Yahoo News and Mother Jones before the election, which didn’t say the FBI was investigating.) As I see it, Comey may have been the only one in the DoJ with the cohones to have recommended indicting HRC if he had found a smoking gun email on Weiner’s laptop – there was no reason for him to re-open the investigation otherwise. Who in the HRC campaign told Steele to write fake stories in the two weeks between his hiring by Fusion and the first report Steele submitted? And why would that person request a story based on unconfirmable (and therefore predictably unpublishable) salacious rumors from anonymous high Russian officials. Nevertheless, I suspect most readers of WUWT ignore these “facts” that shape my worldview, and come to very different conclusions based on dubious stories that have been repeated over and over. Clearly a large fraction of the population has been mislead one way or the other by the slanted news that comes from both sides.

          Confirmation bias makes it very difficult for humans to incorporate facts into their worldview that disagree with deeply held personal beliefs. Did a child sex ring make sense? Why even ask the question, when you KNOW that the Clinton campaign is irredeemably evil?

          However, to prevent this from ever happening again, the major internet platforms are already censoring the content you see. A search for “Climategate” on Google and DuckDuckGo already produces a very different list of top hits. If one doesn’t already know who McIntyre and Montford were, anyone searching with Google isn’t likely to find them.

      • I worry more about many thousand of trolls in USA promoting psyop agitprop agains a president and anyone lotta alphabet agencies and people with vested interests in creating sheeple like f u overbook and gates.
        Pizzagate was so stupid I cant belive anyone believed it really
        and if theres a worry over “non msm media” then that same media dumbing down the already thick from schooling populace..has to take a deep bow.

        • The way I heard it here in the US, is not that a lot of people believed it, but that one man believed it and went to try and do something about it.

    • Unfortunately, it is completely legal to openly discriminate according to the political affiliation of a person.
      An employer can fire you because you are not a Democrat, you can be kicked out of restaurants, refused a dwelling…anything at all.
      Political affiliation is not a protected status.}
      And make no mistake…when they say “reliable”, what they mean is “Leftist”.
      This filter is designed to filter out conservative views.

      • Menicholas

        Not quite true, although we are talking along the same lines.

        Political discrimination is only considered prosecutable when it’s not leftist. Actually, even when it is leftist as the commonly dubbed ‘Extreme Right’ are a collection of Nazi supporting skinheads, and the Nazi party was a development of the National Socialist Workers Party in the 1930’s, presided over by Herr Hitler.

        Now I don’t know about anyone else here but I’m as extreme Right wing as anyone can get. I believe in Freedom of speech, the right to work, low taxes, a small government devoted to the defence of our shores, the rule of civil law and, of course, Democracy, all accomplished peacefully by political means.

        I have never marched in the streets, worn a swastika (or emblem similar) engaged in political violence (although some would disagree as I was a policeman during the Miners strikes in the UK in the 80’s, but they have no idea what they are talking about) worn bovver boots, shaved my head or own a Pit Bull Terrier encased in a studded harness!

        Nor do I know any other person as extreme right as me engaging in those practises. Simply because all we ‘extreme’ right want to do is mind our own business, work to prosper, educate our children and stand on our own two feet. We would rather trade than fight although occasionally those lines are blurred, but that’s usually by jealous intervention by others.

        Unfortunately, man as a species is ambitious so conflict happens. It’s a part of our design and it ensures survival of the fittest. It’s just too bad that the UK and the US happen to be the fittest on the planet for several generations now, in my opinion, thanks to our ‘far right’ opinions. And those opinions have made the world a more peaceful, prosperous and healthy place than it has ever been in its history.

        We are living our legacy.

        • HotScot: “We are living our legacy.” You should watch the comedy Idiocracy, our legacy may not be what you think… yes, we are actually de-evolving and our governments and educational institutions are speeding the process. I would hazard a guess that the majority of Harvard’s PHDs could not pass a high school equivalence exam from the 1970s’. No calculators allowed.

          Cheers,

          Speed

        • “Unfortunately, man as a species is ambitious so conflict happens.”

          Unfortunately? If we weren’t ambitious, that would make is sheep.

      • They might have to revise there warning for the Daily Mail as it is shifting left and shedding readers since the arrival of the new editor.

  4. The only things we can count on are death, taxes, and censorship! There are swarms of globalist locusts trashing our freedoms on a daily basis. Now, enter Maxihard Microsoft. It’s quite clear why every Internet-related tech entity was granted a monopoly.

    • Microsoft was not granted a monopoly. It doesn’t have anything close to a monopoly, and neither does any of the other internet firms.

      Some people seem to feel that big is a synonym for monopoly.

      • Each facet of internet use is controlled by one entity. Mergers are monopolies. Cornering the market is monopolistic. Microsoft is in almost every new affordable computer and it owns Windows. It has programs that are copyright protected. Some techies can find a way around this, but most of us don’t have the technical skills to do so. If it feels like a monopoly, acts like a monopoly, it IS a monopoly.

        • Mergers are not monopolies.
          Nobody is cornering the market in anything.

          Microsoft is not the only operating system, there are a dozen others that can be installed.
          MS appears to have the majority of the market for OS’s for people who are too stupid or lazy to use anything else, but so what?

          Oh my, copyright is now the equivalent of a monopoly?
          I guess the fact that Kroger won’t let me set up a stall in their lobby in order to see produce proves that Kroger is also a monopoly?

          It doesn’t look like a monopoly, it doesn’t feel like a monopoly, and it doesn’t act like a monopoly. Just because you don’t know what the heck you are talking about isn’t proof of anything.

          • Likewise. I’d ask you to back up your statements, but at this point I wouldn’t bother to read them anyway. I get my information from more credible sources. I always find that people who call other people lazy and stupid are usually too lazy and stupid themselves to hold an intelligent conversation, especially when they disagree. you disagree.

          • Translation: I know what I want to know and I only read sites that already agree with me.
            Sounds like most warmists.

          • Cognition isn’t your forte. But you excel in dissonance. You’re always “translating” what other people say. Must be because you don’t understand any other way than yours!!

          • your’e maybe unaware some of the recent pcs are setup so you can NOT remove their opsys and install anything else?
            one o worked on recently didnt even HAVE a harddrive
            the “drive” was ON a chip
            HP

        • marlene

          Microsoft is in almost every new affordable computer

          Probably just as well most of our youth, up to and including 30 year old’s, barely use a PC or similar these days, they just stick to using their iPhones or Android phones where Edge is a non event as Widows phones are now almost extinct as the OS is being discontinued.

          There are lots of easy fixes to the ‘monopolies’ for computers though. You can buy a cheap Google Android PC, an expensive Apple Mac or a computer with Windows, and install Linux yourself.

          If you don’t use the MS OS you can even apply to Microsoft for a refund and I believe they are obliged to honour it. Ubuntu has a freely downloadable Linux OS which is perfectly acceptable/extremely good, and you can dual boot it (i.e. when you boot your machine up you have the choice of using Windows or Ubuntu) or you can just wipe MS Windows altogether.

          If you don’t want to move from Windows OS just surf along to https://www.opera.com and download their extremely good browser which comes complete with a pop up blocker and inbuilt VPN (it’s not a full blown version but good enough for casual browsing). Then there’s Firefox browser and of course Chrome, but it’s very intrusive however there is a version with all the inbuilt activity monitoring stripped out called SWIron https://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php. None of them have the restrictions and intrusions of Edge browser.

          None of this is in the least techy as I’m not a techy and I can manage it with ease. BTW, everything I have posted is free and unlimited to use (other than the hardware and MS/iPhone software).

          On other extremely handy bit of software, again freely available and with no adverts is Ghostery https://www.ghostery.com which stymies adverts and tracking making browsing much quicker and less tiresome. You can switch it off momentarily or permanently for a particular website if you need to.

          • Thank you, HotScot. My friend switched to Linux but had too many problems with it and advised me against it.
            Since he was more technologically advanced than i am, i accepted it and moved on. I use the Internet mostly for communication and research, but still go to libraries for sources, and do more than casual browsing. I’m in the middle of a paper and am not likely to make any changes at this time. If it sells, I will buy that Sony Vios i’ve always wanted. Thanks again for your good advice, and for the links.

          • marlene

            You are very welcome.

            I’m surprised at your friend. He/she may have tried another flavour of Linux and some of them are very techy. But Ubuntu is a plug and play sort of OS. It doesn’t run MS Office natively which a lot of people find inconvenient, but it does have an open source Office suite that is very good although not quite as slick as Office. Linux Mint is also very good.

            As for browsing, casual or otherwise, Opera, Chrome and Firefox are compatible with Linux so no difference whatsoever.

            The problem is Linux has a different feel to MS Windows and it does take time to settle in to it. But dual booting solves all that and I have had no problem with doing it providing you have a PC with a reasonable sized HD.

            No point in doing anything if you are in the middle of a project though, as you say. Good luck with it and I hope you get your Vios.

          • “dual booting” – yes, that’s it. Being technologically challenged, I now feel the way I would if I’d forgotten to plug something in. Thanks again. You’ve been very helpful.

          • There are lots of easy fixes to the ‘monopolies’ for computers though. You can buy a cheap Google Android PC, an expensive Apple Mac or a computer with Windows, and install Linux yourself.

            Two thirds of Microsoft’s business is enterprise. It is virtually impossible to run a business on anything else (there are few exceptions). My dentist has all MAC’s on which they run …. get this … Windows virtual machines.

          • I just saw a market estimate putting Edge at just over 5%. I doubt that, because on none of the sites I admin does it even show up in top 20 user agent lists. At best, it’s a small fraction of a percent. Too small for me to bother checking raw data to find.

            Pale Moon shows up far more often.

          • At the moment. However, every corporation that is a M$ shop are moving from Windows 7, and in some cases Linux/Apple, to Windows 10, on either a corporate supplied device or employee device of their own. Applications and data moving to the cloud, O365 etc. Once they fully commit to that move there is no turning back.

            Windows 10, for all the junk that comes with it (I am tired of having to turn/delete stuff corporations simply don’t want or need, but there will be a time when that will not be possible. By then it will be too late), for better or worse, is the OS in the corporate space.

      • MarkW,

        In a free enterprise system, in a free country, monopoly is the goal of many marketing programs including market segmentation, pricing policies, new product development and patents. All are usually temporary and laws are intended to prevent predatory practices that make them permanent, emphasis on the word intended. Segmenting markets by political characteristics and using tactics to discourage use of products based upon political beliefs steps over the line, particularly when we are dealing with freedom of speech, at least in the USA.

        • Just because companies want to increase their market share is not proof that monopolies exist.

          Laws aren’t needed to prevent predatory practices because predatory practices are always self defeating. So long as the government doesn’t start to pick winners and losers, monopolies in a free market are impossible.

          • Monopolies exist all the time in certain market segments,temporarily. Nothing evil about them or patents, intended to allow for return on investment and to encourage further investment. Once one attains more than 30% market share oligopoly results ensue, which can be as punishing on the consumer as monopoly. No one said anything about government picking winners and losers except you. That does not work well either and results in black markets for things people really want. See USSR history. Predatory pricing can put good businesses out of business. The key point on this post is the effect upon freedom of speech with companies attempting to black list those with opposing political views!

          • JimG1

            Patents and IP protection are often the cause of predatory practices. I understand the need for them but do have a bit of a problem with them.

            I’ll give you an example. The music industry has recently (over the last ten years or so) regulated royalties so they can be retained by the artist or their appointed agent, for 75 years following the death of the artist.

            Now I’m not terribly familiar with the precise conditions, but being that music is one of the oldest forms of communication and cultural inheritance, that seems a bit excessive to me.

            Patents are not dissimilar although not as long lasting. So an inventor can sketch out a principle, apply for a patent, never activate the patent by putting the product/process into production but if someone else does, there is a licensing issue.

            How many patents are there, that if put into operation 20 years ago could have furthered mankind’s progress beyond where we are now, simply because the ‘inventor’ decides the returns on his idea aren’t enough.

            The inventor incurs no start up or production costs, no sales, marketing and administration costs etc., but can enjoy the ruination of a business that evenly inadvertently encroaches on his patent.

            The Chinese are infamous for IP theft but on a consumer level they do drive costs down. There is a price to be paid in that the products are frequently inferior, but, for example, I paid £100 for a Chinese Android phone which was undoubtedly legal, but it was the equal of most high end Android phones that cost four or five times the price. Unfortunately it didn’t like coffee. 🙂

          • Not Scott,

            There is little doubt that anything the government becomes involved in has the potential to result in the Midas touch in reverse. You get shit instead of gold. However, there is much up front research and investment required for some items,such as new drugs, which require patent protection. Even within this, much of the up front expenditure is required by the good old government itself! We need those drugs, though, and without patent protection companies would not invest.

          • Predatory pricing never works for two very simple reasons. The larger company, with larger reserves also has larger sales, so it looses money much faster than it’s smaller competitors.
            There are always substitutes. Even if the predatory company does succeed in driving it’s target out of business, it’s now exhausted most of it’s money reserves and the minute it tries to raise prices so as to capture these so called “monopoly” prices, the makes of the substitutes, who have been sitting on the sidelines enjoying the show, swoop in take market share away from the weakened monopolist.

          • MarkW,

            Predatory pricing can be done locally or regionally by large national companies, costing them little and destroying the targeted smaller company.

          • “so it looses money much faster than it’s smaller competitors.”

            It gives away money?? Wohoo!

            Also, please learn the difference betwen “its” and “it’s”. One is a possessive pronoun, one is a contraction.

  5. “But the real question in my mind is, if Microsoft tells you web content is reliable, are they liable if you act on the content and suffer harm or loss?” Yeah, no kidding. No doubt they have lots of fine print…

    Sounds like NewsGuard provides some viable informatiom – Stay away from their recommendations!

  6. RED CHINA approves..
    All these Techno fascists started their companies in The Land of the Free…Irony squared..

  7. There seems to be a push lately to elevate the press into irrefutable oracles of right and rong. This bears the earmark of totalitarianism.

      • I snicker every time I hear NPR/PBS — most often during their periodic pledge drives, but also periodically through the day — talk about how they present “fair and balanced reporting”. Perhaps it’s fair and balanced, at least until they have a story that even peripherally references climate change, at which point they start parroting the “Rah, Rah, AGW!” pravda that presupposes that humanity is the root cause for every meteorological disturbance that occurs.

    • The idiots believe they are on the side of good.

      We cannot solve problems that we cannot talk about. 2+2=4 not 5.

      So we have Liberal fascism where activist “scientists’ manipulate the surface temperature and ocean level data, have the UN do the “science” with hand picked hacks to prove CAGW exists, and then force a solution that does not work for basic fundamental engineering reasons (see Germany for proof that “green” energy” does not work.

      Now we have 24/7 fake news pushing CAGW and pushing the solution that does not work.

  8. I used to use the BING search engine, but stopped completely about 6mos. ago. I have switched to DuckDuckGo permanently. About 3mos. after going cold turkey on BING … I received an email from BING/MS asking me to come back to BING! WTF!? They’re even tracking my NON-use of their CRAP programs. Non-use because of their tracking of my activities and selling of my browsing habits to 3rd parties. It’s nigh impossible to remain anonymous and independent on the internets, but suffice to say, I’ve NEVER been on ANY social media of any kind.

  9. Newsguard provides a valuable service, they let you know which sites are trustworthy and which are not. However it’s not clear why they choose the green checkmark as an indicator of an untrustworthy site and a red exclamation point for the trustworthy sites 😉

    • I consider the red explanation point to symbolize oblong and circular red pills.
      https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=red%20pill
      Quoting:
      ‘Red pill’ is a popular expression among conservatives and Trump supporters and is used to explain a person who has awaken from a life of leftists indoctrination. The phrase is used in reference to the famous scene in The Matrix where Neo is given the choice between the blue pill (left hand) or the red pill (right hand). The blue pill is the side of mind control and what most of western society has been subjected to with ever growing governments, treating peoples as victims and selling constituents a delusion. The removing of your personal responsibilities in exchange for your freedoms, the requirement to submit to leftist ideology and most importantly, never question its motives or efficacy or be subject to censorship and slandered.

  10. I don’t need “A SWAT team of NewsGuard analysts” to tell me what news is fake or not. It’s pretty easy to figure that out IMO.

    • Every single time I turn on my Windows 7 OS driven computer … MS tries to cram EDGE onto my system. It is beyond frustrating and will soon drive me into the arms of Apple. Whoever at MS makes these decisions will KILL MS. Idiots!

          • That’s the official date. It will be extended to 2022. Too many corporations are simply not ready for Windows 10.

          • That’s the official date. It will be extended to 2022.

            I very much doubt it. Win 7 SP1 will be 9 years old.

            Too many corporations are simply not ready for Windows 10.

            They will have to pay for the Extended Security Updates program which will give them an extra 3 years. Those programs are very pricy. Unless your running a mission critical application that absolutely cannot be moved you are not going to pay for it. A lot of companies will still run Windows 7 just like they did with Win XP.

          • It will be extended for up to 3 years after the 2020 date, at a per device/cost “service” to users. What I have seen “unofficially” is 2022. Given most new hardware now will run Windows 10 only, corporate users have been forced down the Windows 10 path whether they like it or not.

          • M$ aren’t recoding Edge to run under Windows 7.

            Hmm . . . fake news?

            “As Microsoft announces plans to rebuild Edge from the ground up, the company also said it plans to bring its new version of Edge to older versions of Windows, including Windows 7, and Windows 8, in an effort to make Edge available to more markets. In addition, Microsoft will introduce a version of Edge for macOS, making Edge a true cross-platform browser.”

            https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-bringing-edge-windows-7-and-mac

          • That’s not what I am hearing from the M$ agents I have been dealing with recently. So, I am not sure what is the source of truth. It’s does not make sense when Windows 7 support ends soon. Makes even less sense for Windows 8 because none of my corporate clients bothered with Windows 8, stayed with 7 and are migration slowly to Windows 10. Some organisations still use Office 2007 and .Net 1.1 under Windows 10.

            You might be right about MacOS given SCCM has support for Apple devices. My own personal opinion and that of all of my customers so far is that they will use anything but Edge for browsing, even if made an offering.

          • Obviously MS is pushing for people to move to 10, but they also want to expand the market presence of Edge (they’re not happy that Edge isn’t as widely used as they hoped)

            As windows 7 is still supported (for a little while longer for home users) and will continue to be supported for an extended period of time (for corporate users) combined with it’s large install base, it does make sense to push edge onto it assuming the new edge (assuming they stick with the edge name) which will be based off chromium is compatible without too much extra effort on MS’s part (and seeing as chromium currently is compatible based on the other chromium browsers on Windows 7, there’s no reason to think it won’t be).

            Think of it this way: Edge on windows 7 & 8 is likely an afterthought of moving to a Chromium base.

          • It’s does not make sense when Windows 7 support ends soon.

            EOL doesn’t presuppose the consumer market upgrades. I’m with you on the corp customers, however, consumer customers make up a greater share of MS’s customer base so it would seem rational to go after that market to increase browser market share if you still have a bunch of customers using an EOL product.

            7 to 10 adoption is taking longer than expected, e.g., longer than XP to 7, so there’s a greater share of < 10 machines out there than previous adoption periods:

            https://www.computerworld.com/article/3199373/windows-pcs/windows-by-the-numbers-windows-10-finally-dethrones-windows-7.html

            The "new" Edge is going to be built from Chromium:

            https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/12/06/microsoft-edge-making-the-web-better-through-more-open-source-collaboration/

            Chromium already runs on 7 and later, hence MS can (try to) get browser market share up from it's currently dismal showing without much effort. Or so it seems to me.

    • I don’t use anything microsoft. Their history right from the get go has shown them to have questionable morals.

  11. Newsguard seems to be a rerun of sites like PolitiFact, which are quite partisan and nevertheless deny their partisanship.

  12. If Microsoft et al. State that CNN is trustworthy, then the whole concept of this extension is corrupt.

    Or perhaps they are trying to make life easy for the left leaning people’s who need guidance to stay on message.

    Couldn’t possibly have people stray onto truthful websites can we?

    • Is the Guardian actually rated “reliable”?

      I disagree with the Guardian’s politics, which is fine, but they print numerous op-eds and stories that are just fake news, either deliberately or through utter ignorance. There is a whole book – factchecking Pollyanna – that shows how much fake news the Guardian prints. Similarly the BBC, who just yesterday were taken to ask by a ferry company for printing fake news about Brexit, and there are .endless complaints about its coverage of some issues.

      Why is it always the Left who want to censor what we see and read these days?

  13. “NewsGuard” – that is a fascinating and unfortunate (for MS) choice of a word for their operation. Look up “mindguard”. One link that works is:
    https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition.php?term=Mindguard
    A mindguard is one of the postulated positions that exist in the Groupthink theory as identified by Irving Janis.The presence of these mindguards is one of the identified symptoms of Groupthink. This theory postulates that when a group of people, (for instance, a committee) are faced with a decision, the desire for conformity (and therefore the avoidance of conflict) can result in a dysfunctional decision-making strategy such as the making of poor decisions.

    The purpose of the mindguard is to “filter” and control the amount of information that is available to the group in the name of attempting to focus, as well as to limit, the number of possible solutions that are likely to arise within the group. This phenomenon can be either positive or negative.

    Interestingly, some searches for “mindguard” direct to “groupthink”.

  14. Nothing slows down a computer quite like Microsoft Edge. They are just piling on reasons not to use their browser or their search engine.

    • Chrome often slows down my PCs. When they start getting sluggish, I look in task manager and almost invariably one of the myriad Chrome tasks is taking up an inordinate amount of CPU. Actually it’s most likely one of the sites in one of the tabs that’s doing it, with animated advertising and crap like that.

  15. If they give CNN a green I can see how they will rate the queen of fake news sites, the BBC. So the best way of using this is to never use the green sites, because they will be fake, and rely on the red sites!

  16. Edge is useful – for downloading firefox.

    We use a desktop for a notification program for our volunteer fire department. Firefox will update and recover fine almost all the time, but lately it’s been blocked by an interfering tab trying to get permission to switch to bing.

    Something else to track down and delete with extreme prejudice.

    • I use Chrome and have never gotten anything trying to change my home page or search engine that didn’t ask me first. Mostly, at least it used to be, when someone inadvertently added an extension or toolbar and didn’t see that said toolbar was going to change a bunch of stuff. Used to get that all the time with Firefox, but not with Chrome.

  17. “fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability”

    Ummm…. like Microsoft and other IT conglomerates?

    This culture has diverged from constitutional protections.
    Free speech anyone?

    Paging class action firms…

    • “Dangerous, Record-Breaking Cold” Yet another record broken, a sure sign of climate change. We only have 12 years!

  18. The yellow vest protests were reportedly organized via social media. The Cologne New Years Eve attacks were surfaced by social media. We can all see the problem here if you are at Davos having a chat over dinner.

    Citizens talking to citizens without a filter scares the hell out of the ruling class. It makes the citizens very unpredictable. In the USA it’s time to legislate freedom of speech on the internet or destroy the entities restricting it through our anti-monopoly laws.

  19. While adware, malware, scamware, ransomware, identity theft, hinder the machines and credit cards of unaware users.

    Further, telephone fake tech support scams are a worth millions signature industry of call centers in India running H24 7/7.

    And obviously, Microsoft chooses climate news filtration as the most appropriate and urgent technology to protect gullible users from the dangers of cyber space.

    Yep, warmists must be really desperate to rescue their sinking vessel.

    • “And obviously, Microsoft chooses climate news filtration as the most appropriate and urgent technology to protect gullible users from the dangers of cyber space.”

      Totally. Fill the holes in your OS, don’t try to assume to fill the holes in my ideology.

  20. Maybe it is time MSN applied these standards to their own browser news postings which are mostly garbage.

        • “A bunch of socially retarded left-wing nitwits who believe CNN and the New York Times like Christians believe the Bible.”

          Sure looks like an insult of opportunity to me. Whether or not you created it, it is prominent in the message.

        • It’s insulting Christians by comparing them to “socially retarded left-wing nitwits”.

          Comparisons of “X is so bad they’re like Y” while intended as an insult to X also acts as an insult to Y by implying that Y is as bad as X.

          As I always joke when such comparisons are made: you owe Y and apology for comparing them to X.

      • Openoffice is good. Just remember to look at all the installation screens very carefully, otherwise Sun will install McAfee and who knows what else.

  21. WOW! A critical role in “Group think” is the control of information to the group. This is classic “group think” manipulation.

    • Yes.

      I’ve been reflecting a bit about why I was “conned” into thinking negatively about the Covington boys after the media did its “first pass”… the smirking young man challenging the Native American earnestly practicing his freedom of religion surrounded by a pack of jeering teens. The second video, emerging afterward, quickly showed this was wrong. He may have been smirking, but he was also standing his ground justifiably. A second look opened up a whole panoply of complex issues, making judgment about ANY of the actors a lot harder… and maybe pointless.

      Part of the purpose of teaching “critical thinking” in schools is to bring students face-to-face with their own prejudices and predilections. If they understand what writers and advertisers do TO US to “sell” their ideas, we’re more watchful and can at least do recursive mental checks of our own reactions: “What’s this selling?” “Who is it targeting?” “How is it propagandizing?” “Is this good for me? (or anyone else?)” “Am I buying into this?” and maybe just as important, “Have I given this sufficient thought before I comment? / buy in? / jump down somebody’s throat about it?”

      I don’t think we need the imprimatur of Microsoft, Buzzfeed, CNN anchors, politicians – or loud commenters – to help us make these decisions for us. We can make up our own minds.

      Far more distressing (in my opinion) than the virtue signaling of the media monopolies is the close breathing of advertisers who have managed to get my number. Today on “Watt’s Up With That” my advertisers manifest themselves as: a beautiful woman reading a book with the caption, “Download hundreds of e-books without spending a dime!”; an ad for Viagra pills; and “Bargain Office Equipment”, “a green company since 1980”. One may conclude that I’m old, cheap and… the opposite of wealthy, all correct. That bothers me.

      And by the way, blocking their pop-ups is not the same as ridding your computer of their cookies. They may not be monopolies, but they sure are pernicious.

  22. Buzzfeed is in financial trouble. It is so reliable it is having to shed 250 more staff and its sponsors are getting a bit antsy with the way their multi-million investments are failing to create any kind of recognisable return.

    So sad. Too bad.

    Why MS would consider Buzzfeed to be in any way reliable (fake news is rampant at BF) has to be a mystery only a marketing genius would understand. Perhaps its the same marketing genius who thought that “that” man-unfriendly Gillette ad was a good idea.

    • Had the satisfaction last week after the recent “bombshell” fizzled to inform a BuzzFeed booster that it would soon go the way of Gawker after he had smirked (yes, I could just see his face) that I was a dinosaur because I didn’t get my news from clickbait farms funded by Democratic donors.

      Didn’t know how quick it would be, though.

      And while I’m usually sad to see people lose their jobs and I believe more journalism is better than less, in this case:

      1) they aren’t journalists, they are barely writers and most of their material would fairly fit under the “remedial typing” category

      2) they are politicians and we need fewer of them

  23. Another reason why DuckDuckGo is my browser of choice; no tracing of activities, no propaganda, works just fine.

    • Yes, just this morning I posted something here about using DDG vs. Google to look up “Club of Rome failed predictions”.

      Needless to say, the first five links at Google were fan sites posing as Serious Journalism (i.e., the Gruniad).

      DDG had WUWT in the first page.

      Govern yourself accordingly.

  24. There is no metric for Edge on portable (Android, Iphone), at this point no one has posted usage statistics. You should be aware that FireFox is rapidly gaining market share due to it’s commitment to privacy with the latest build rated faster then the competitors and more secure, several reviews have talked extensively about this. Also be aware that Vivaldi, Opera, Brave and soon Microsoft Edge, use Chrome’s open-source foundation, called Chromium, this means the ‘search’ returned data is filtered. And of course we have know this was coming: Google may break ad blockers with upcoming Chrome change https://goo.gl/152yS2 which will increase the rate of those with a brain leaving the Google kingdom.
    I’m stuck with all browsers for testing compatibility, rethinking this to to only support browsers that don’t track you and sell your data. A start at unmasking Google: https://goo.gl/XgAkNa

    • Book burning the day after…

      Compulsory labelling of all those with political views to the right of Stalin to follow…

    • What you say is correct. The Jews are the epitomic example.

      First they labelled them with arm bands. Then they rounded them up and branded them, putting them into ghettos. Then they made slaves out of them, or worse.

      Funny how it’s the same old music time and time again.

  25. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. pledged to work together with other tech and advertising companies to fight the spread of “fake news” online in Europe, largely to prevent it from blighting political elections in the region”-Bloomberg 2018 (not that Bloomberg would oppose censorship)

    As with all free speech issues the devil is in the details. They have completely free speech in China as long as you stick to the party line. It is accurate to say that foreign actors have run influence operations online. That is different than rating domestic sites.

  26. My default position these days is to assume all news from outlets like CNN, MSNBC, BBC etc is false unless I see it somewhere genuinely trustworthy.

  27. For those of us alive in the 50’s and 60’s..this targeting and control of information and sources of information is expected..heck..it was predictable!!! winning hearts and minds is still the game plan of control..Payne had some good points..create a mob and you have politics as a maleable might over right and/ or facts…namely, in our age the repercussions of enlightenment-styled democracy. Essentially a 500 year old battle of individualism-mobs ( genderistic..religious..tribal..skin-deep identifications..namely self-identified political identities) versus the mob of the commons identifiable by the management of food and resources conrols and protectionism..hence, individual protectionisms..which exhibits as us locking our cars..homes..or building a fence around our home to protect our stuff..nothing is new under the sun..even now..

  28. But who will ‘guard’ the guardians?
    “Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Satires of Juvenal).

  29. I’ve already seen it and discussed elsewhere, in matters unrelated to global warming. Repeating some of that:

    It’s just a tool for people too lazy to do their own thinking.

    Such a tool does nothing to tell you about the truth of any particular story. Even the worst liars in the mainstream media make sure they tell the truth most of the time, they just tell a convenient lie when it suits them. If one newspaper is truthful 90% of the time, and another newspaper with a different politics is truthful 80% of the time, how does that help you decide which one is correct on any one story?

  30. I opened Edge on my PC, which I rarely use, and didn’t see any of the NewsGuard ratings. I guess I’m missing a plugin for it (which I will not install). BTW, on the browser I usually use, I accidentally mistyped breitbart.com — I missed a letter (won’t tell you which one I left out), and it redirected to a site that Norton Internet Security warned was a fake tech support site (scam).

    • “littlepeaks January 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      I opened Edge on my PC, which I rarely use, and didn’t see any of the NewsGuard ratings. I guess I’m missing a plugin for it (which I will not install). ”

      If you run Windows 10 Home, Pro etc, and you let M$ update it, it will be installed for you. There is so much junk that is “installed” with every release, soon the up and coming 1903 release, along with all the updates.

    • What did they say about its predecessor Internet Explorer?
      “It’s the browser you use to load Google Chrome onto your Windows PC”.

  31. I use DuckDuckgo for search and WSJ for news except Greg Ip has gulped the kool aid and I can’t stomach that part of it now.

  32. Well this just adds to the “issues” most corporates I develop a Windows 10 platform for simply “turn off” Edge in favour of Google Chrome or Firefox. And then there is Windows 10 analytics…literally “watching” everything you do and then M$ sells the data back to corporations.

  33. Interestingly, I now get warnings stating WUWT is a dangerous site on my corporate PC using Chrome running on Windows 10 1511. Hummm…

  34. I gotta say WUWT I don’t like your chances with this goofy plug-in. They may be delaying your rating while they cook up a category worse than “proceed with caution”. You should wear it as a badge of honor.

  35. Just had a red Google screen come up (first time i have seen it) when I tried to access wattsup. It claimed the site had malware and said click here to return to safety or click here to go to this bad site. WTF???

  36. I just installed the latest updates on my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and it did not install then “NewsGuard” extension on my Edge Browser.

      • I never use edge so don’t know if it’s already been updated or not and don’t care. When they start auto-pushing it to non-MS browsers, that’s when it will be a problem.

  37. Did anyone else end up with a “503” error message when trying to open
    WUWT around 2:30am EDT ?

    I cleared all my caches, ran disk cleanups, shut it down, took out the trash,
    and now the site is back like nothing happened.

    I was going to run a traceroute… but now there’s nothing weird to trace.

    ???

  38. I just ordered a new MAGA hat from e-bay. I wonder how long it will be before the Thought Police arrive at my door?

  39. How will the Vatican site be treated? not sure at this time

    Also, is there a side payment system for Microsoft treatment especially for large advertising accounts?

  40. Okay, now how does it rate state-run news from the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Army sites? And official news in Venezuela and Nicaragua vs. independent (and harassed) news?

  41. A Linux based world free of MS and Google makes more sense every day. Its a pity it isnt packaged and marketed more effectively. I guess long term success would make them monsters also.

    Half the machines in our home network run Linux Mint and Libre Office. They tend to be the most trouble free and usable. We just maintain MS for compatability with a couple of things, that I dont have time (and probably skill depth) to try and work out

  42. “But the real question in my mind is, if Microsoft tells you web content is reliable, are they liable if they act on the content and suffer harm or loss?”

    if a passer-by explains to you it is safer to sleep in the tree house instead of in the house on the ground

    and you roll in the sleep of the tree house and break your legs during the fall

    the passerby is not liable.

    You should have informed yourself better.

    There you go.

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