US POLITICS

This Chrome Extension Tells You When Trump’s Tweets Are False

In the aftermath of Trump's surprise victory, a new Chrome extension provides a solution to detect false information online

US POLITICS
Illustration: Diana Quach
Dec 16, 2016 at 6:07 PM ET

President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter account has played an important role leading up to his January 20 inauguration. He has used the platform to announce — and then defer — a press conference, cancel a meeting with the New York Times, and also make baseless, incendiary remarks. Now, a new Chrome extension fact-checks Trump’s tweets as he’s posting them.

The extension, “RealDonaldContext”, injects additional information to the president-elect’s tweets, either with a note explaining why they are false, or further context. So when Trump tweets that he would have won the popular vote in a landslide if it weren’t for the millions of illegal voters, you won’t have to look far to find that “there is absolutely no evidence that there were a significant number of votes cast illegally, much less ‘millions’ of them.”

“This is a good situation in which the web’s tools outtakes traditional journalistic tools, and so it’s worth embracing what the web can do because it makes it easier to provide good information for people about what’s happening in the news.” Philip Bump, a writer for the Washington Post who created the extension, told Vocativ.

In addition to annotating a few tweets retroactively, the Post’s extension is aiming to provide context for all of Trump future tweets. “Obviously, there are a lot of people who get their information from Trump and from his tweets specifically, and to any extent that people could be provided with more information in that context, I think is beneficial,” Bump said.