Ranking tool improves rating for Mail Online after labelling it ‘untrustworthy’

A fake news tool built into Microsoft’s Edge web browser has changed its rating for the Mail Online, having previously warned users the site failed to maintain “basic standards of accuracy and accountability”.

NewsGuard, a tool which says it uses a team of experienced journalists to analyse and rate news websites, had shown users the warning when navigating to the Mail Online website.

It has now confirmed the Mail Online’s rating has been reconfigured after discussions with the news organisation and an unnamed “senior Daily Mail news executive”.

The US-based tool has recently been built into the mobile version of Microsoft’s Edge browser – the successor to Internet Explorer – although its ranking tool is switched off by default.

The updated NewsGuard label on the Mail Online website (Screenshot/PA)

The tool is also available as a free, downloadable extension on the Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Last week, the Mail Online said it was “in discussions” with NewsGuard to change what it called the “egregiously erroneous classification”.

In an editor’s note on the site’s improved rating, NewsGuard co-founders Steve Brill and Gordon Crovitz and editorial director Eric Effron confirmed the changes and said it was “our responsibility, not those we write about, to get it right”.

The note added: “This label now has the benefit of the dailymail.co.uk’s input, and our view is that in some important respects their objections are right and we were wrong, which we think demonstrates the value of the transparency and accountability that imbues what we do.”

The firm said the discussions with the news organisation executive led them to change several areas of the website’s rating to the extent it received an overall pass mark, but it confirmed some other aspects of the site’s rating had not been changed and still carried red, warning labels.

The Mail Online has not responded to a request for comment on the updated rating.

- Press Association

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