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Use this tool to help you decide if the news you're reading is the real deal

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Fake news may be ubiquitous, but it can be pretty inconspicuous, too. But now, in an attempt to make fake news a bit more noticeable, a team from TechCrunch Disrupt London has created an algorithm that tells you when that “news” you’re ready is not as newsy as you may think.

Meet — or if you’re reading between the lines (or just through the punctuation), “Not Impressed.” It’s a tool that lets you type in a URL and determine just how trustworthy your source is. But wait, you say, isn’t that relatively subjective? Not exactly.

One of the key metrics upon which depends is a website’s Alexa score, which is based on “the browsing behavior of people in [Alexa’s] global data panel, which is a sample of all internet users.” In addition to the site’s Alexa top websites ranking, the tool also provides you with the sentiment analysis, bounce rate, domain location, and headline clickbait detection machine learning score for your chosen URL. Taken together, these elements can paint a pretty telling picture of just how trustworthy that article of yours may be. 

For example, if your URL comes back with a low Alexa rank, not-so-nice sentiment analysis, a high bounce rate, and a clickbait alert, chances are, that’s not “news” you’re reading. Just check out the example TechCrunch posted below.

And to make it even easier to use, the team is also in the process of developing a Chrome plugin that lets you see a trustworthiness score within your Google search results. That means you won’t even have to waste your time reading an article to determine whether or not it’s trash.

So if you’re looking for a way to cut down on the non-news in your life, this may just be the tool you’ve been waiting for. Because, hey, sometimes we all need a little help spotting the lies.

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Lulu Chang
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