In a bid to prevent the spread of misinformation, Surfshark has announced the release of its fake news warning (FNW) extension for Chrome and Firefox.
The new technology detects and highlights website links from various media and other websites that are known to spread fake news and misinformation. This way, users can make informed decisions and further look at fact-checking their information.
Once installed to their Chrome or Firefox browser, the extension will activate the FNW feature by default. If people are Surfshark users already, they can toggle this feature on or off under the VPN settings in their extension. Users do not have to be a Surfshark customer to utilise this new tech.
A list of untrustworthy websites that the extension picks up was taken from propornot.com and reviewed by Surfshark security experts. The evolving process means that the company is currently talking with more security institutions worldwide to monitor and update this list, and iterations of it will roll out after the initial release.
Specific URLs from the list of websites are highlighted with a YYY symbol, making it easier for consumers and businesses to spot misinformation and false sources.
"There are a lot of fact-checking resources on the internet that can help people clarify the situation about the most important events as experts took time to examine those in-depth," says Surfshark security officer Aleksandr Valentij.
"For example, media outlets such as the Australian Associated Press, RMIT/ABC, Agence France-Presse (AFP), and Bellingcat maintain lists of fact-checks their teams have performed for Ukraines invasion."
Fake news is a common problem in today's society, with various sub-channels and sectors becoming infiltrated by ideology that sets to warp the perception of news for personal gain. Having tools that help spot fake news helps a variety of industries, and the company says they are happy this technology can provide support to those who seek truthful and substantial news.
"Surfshark also pledges support to affected journalists within Ukraine: Journalists or people working for NGOs that are in need of Surfshark services to continue informing the public or accessing uncensored information about what is happening in Ukraine," says Surfshark PR manager Gabriele Racaityte.
Surfshark says the core premise of Surfshark as a brand is to humanise online privacy protection and develop tools that protect users' privacy beyond the realm of a virtual private network. Surfshark is one of few VPNs that has been audited by independent security experts.
The company provides a privacy protection toolset that is developed to allow its users to control their online presence seamlessly and in a safe environment.