Austin startup hoping to weed out 'fake news'

New browser looks to eliminate fake news

Fake news is making more and more headlines. From our computer to our phones, many of those stories are going viral. Can you tell what's real and what's fake?

An Austin couple from California said they think they have a solution to the 'fake news' problem. They have created a browser that tells the user if an article is fake or not.

"It's sad that things like this are pushed out on the internet," said Jessica Strickland, co-founder of Authenticated Reality.

Sometimes, the fake sites even pose as reputable news organizations.

"I had a friend send me an email, and the email actually had, here's the source from the Washington Post and that triggered something in my head because it was a long political email,” said Chis Ciabarra, co-founder of Authenticated Reality

His gut instinct turned out to be right.

"Emailed him back and told him, 'look this is fake and here's why,' and he apologized and said, 'wow, I just sent this to all my friends,'” said Ciabarra.

He and Strickland, his wife, tried to come up with a solution.

"About a year ago, in our last company, me and Jess were thinking about it and we discovered, we're going to do it by putting comments on every single page,” he said.

They decided to call their product Authenticated Reality.

"What you have is a regular browser and you have a sidebar that pops in,” explained Ciabarra.

The startup's new browser requires users to provide their driver's license, photo and other forms of ID to prove their identity. Chris calls it "the new internet."

"It actually allows you to comment and rate every single page on the internet,” he said.

However, aren't there already fact-checking websites out there like Snopes and Politifact?

Jessica said those organizations cannot check every news article out there, and her product is more convenient with no time wasted.

"After you read the article, you can go and search and say was this actually real, but if the comments right on top of it, right on the side it says this is fake, it's just completely fake, you won't even read the article, because it says fake on it,” said Strickland.

Authenticated Reality's beta browser launched just this month. The startup is hoping to release a final version to the public by the end of March, charging $20 a year to subscribers.

The beta-version of Authenticated Reality is currently available for free. For a direct link, click here.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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