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BS Detector: an add-on to detect fake news websites

Fake news websites have enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to social media, but truly exploded thanks to the US election. But how do you avoid being duped by them? Well, aside from following our tips and avoiding these websites, you can try using a browser add-on dubbed BS Detector.

The extension, available on Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge, simply alerts users to unreliable news sources. And it works across most webpages, such as Facebook or a general news/opinion article.

“A browser extension for both Chrome and Mozilla-based browsers, BS Detector searches links on a given webpage for references to unreliable sources, checking against a manually compiled list of domains. It then provides visual warnings about the presence of questionable links or the browsing of questionable websites,” read an excerpt of the website description.

BS Detector promises to take some of the guesswork out of fake news spotting – but they’ll need help to keep the watchlist updated

In other words, you’ll see a tag on Facebook stories or at the top of questionable websites.

The extension’s developer says that they’ll be adding, removing and reviewing domains, but clarified that they “cannot guarantee complete accuracy” of the list.

BS Detector does more than simply label a website as fake though. Other classifications include satire, extreme bias, conspiracy theory, rumour mill, state news, junk science, hate group, clickbait and “proceed with caution”.

Want to add fake news websites to BS Detector? Then check out the GitHub link here.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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