Facebook has been getting some flack for posting fake news stories that are rumored to have had an impact on the outcome of the presidential election. The validity of news that is circulated online is especially important when you consider that a whopping 62 percent of Americans get their news from social media, according to a survey by Pew Research Center.
Given the sheer volume of content on social media, it can be difficult to know if the information you’re reading is coming from a trustworthy source—especially if you’re not used to fact-checking and/or verifying the credibility of your news. But, a new add-on for your Chrome web browser is here to help put an end to that.
In the same way you’d install ad blocker, you can now install the B.S. Detector extension to your Chrome browser. Once it’s installed on your computer, clicking onto a fake news story won’t be nearly as easy. When you scroll over a potentially fictitious (or satirical) article in your newsfeed, a message will pop up to let you know that the article appears to be from a “questionable” source.
Daniel Sieradski, the creator of the extension, told Tech2 that he created a list of well known “hoax sites.” The extension flags all content from those sites rather than relying on an algorithm that would warn people about individual articles.
“I built this in about an hour yesterday after reading [Mark Zuckerberg’s] BS about not being able to flag fake news sites,” Sieradski said. “Of course you can. It just takes having a spine to call out nonsense. This is just a proof of concept at this point, but it works well enough.”
Here is the full list of sites that are known to be scams. Of course, no list or extension can completely protect you from fake news, so it’s still worthwhile to do some good old-fashioned fact-checking via Google searches to make sure the news sources you read are reputable.
But the B.S. detector is certainly a good start to avoiding scam sites, so go ahead and download the extension by visiting the Google Chrome Web Store.