Mock This Chrome Extension Takes Aim At Fake News

Mock This’ is a Fake News browser extension for Chrome. It alerts you to Fake News as soon as it hits your Facebook feed. It will also make you more aware of content that can unconsciously lead your political opinions astray.

Some say that we like our opinions to be affirmed by news — whether the news is true or not. But as the creators of Mock This, we’d like to think that’s not true for everyone. There are people in our society who are willing to change their opinions based on new and better information.

How it works

Works for both Facebook posts and Profile Pages

Mock This annotates Profile Pages that are labeled: InfoWars https://www.facebook.com/InfoWarsLive/
  • A warning will appear inside your Facebook feed if one of your friends publishes a link to a Fake News website — or to one of the other categories listed below.
  • A warning will also appear if there’s a link to a Fake News Profile Page on Facebook.
  • If you visit a Profile Page that has been labeled a warning will appear at the top of the page.

Mock This supports the following categories:

Fake News

Fake News (also referred to as hoax news) deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news — often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect.

Example: https://www.facebook.com/InfoWarsLive/

Annotated Facebook post

Satire

Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Example: https://www.facebook.com/TheOnion/

Annotated Facebook post

Alt-right

According to Wikipedia, The alt-right, or alternative right, is a loose group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States. We take a stronger stance. We believe alt-right “news” is content that is published by people with white supremacy ideologies.

Example: https://www.facebook.com/Breitbart/

Annotated Facebook post

Far-left Bias

Far-left is a branch of politics further to the left of the left-right spectrum than the standard political left. Far-left politics are generally the province of extra-governmental groups and those espousing them are typically opposed to their governments.

Example: https://www.facebook.com/TruthExaminer/

Annotated Facebook post

Far-right Bias

Far-right often involves a focus on tradition, real or imagined, as opposed to policies and customs that are regarded as reflective of modernism. Many far-right ideologies have a disregard or a disdain for egalitarianism, even if they do not always express overt support for social hierarchy, elements of social conservatism and opposition to most forms of liberalism and socialism.

Example: https://www.facebook.com/RedStateBlog/

Annotated Facebook post

How to test the extension when installed

How do we know if a site is classified as Fake News?

MetaCert is not an expert at identifying Fake News. There are other credible organizations that do this well. And they publish their lists online. We use these credible and trusted sources to give intelligence to Mock This. I’ll update this post with links to our sources soon. We also classify websites that are checked and not yet classified, through our Facebook Messenger Chatbot. We only immediately classify obvious sites that are in breach of trademark law. For example, tv-cnn.com is clearly a Fake News website. So we don’t need a Fact Checker to verify our assertion.

The people behind Mock This

Please meet MetaCert — the company behind Mock This.

At MetaCert we see a world where you’re not afraid of opening the wrong link. MetaCert is a cybersecurity company that is primarily focused on helping companies stay protected from malicious threats when using Messenger Services such as Slack and HipChat.

To be blunt, I’m angry with what’s going on with Fake News on Facebook. Facebook has amazing engineering talent. Talent that has the ability to target individuals like never before. Yet, known Fake News websites have “Verified” Profile Pages on Facebook — they’re not banned. They recently announced a new flagging system. But I wrote recently why I don’t think that’s going far enough.

We’re good at Content Labeling / URL Classification

What MetaCert is an expert at, is content labeling — otherwise known as URL Classification. In fact, MetaCert is the best in the world at this one thing — by a lot.

Paul Walsh, MetaCert CEO was one of the two people who co-instigated the creation of the W3C Standard for Content Labeling, formally replacing PICS in 2009.

We have the world’s biggest threat intelligence system of classified URLs and our classification platform is the first of its kind with the ability to label sections of sites with user generated content — sites like Facebook and Twitter. For example, we can label Facebook Profile Pages that belong to Fake News sites. No other security company can do this today, and no Fake News-related, fact-checking organization has gone to the trouble of finding and listing Facebook Profile Pages (or Twitter profiles for that matter).

We’re good at building browser software tools

Ian Hayward, MetaCert COO, lead the team who built the world’s most famous browser extensions. He also used to run, produce and maintain spreadfirefox.com and is proud to be on the Mozilla Monument with my fellow 2,500 Mozillians outside Mozilla HQ in SFO.


So, you know from an engineering perspective, you know Mock This is fast, secure and reliable.

You can download Mock This directly from the Chrome store as we haven’t built a dedicated website yet. Download here.

  • No registration
  • No login
  • No obligation
  • No Fake News!

Please tap or click “♥︎” to help to promote this browser software to others. Let’s take back the news and help society make better informed choices that impact the world around us — including our children.

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