How Microsoft Uses NewsGuard to Support its Trusted, Transparent Technology
Some examples of how Microsoft provides NewsGuard trust tools to safeguard users online.
By Veena McCoole | Published on July 31, 2023
Microsoft has worked with NewsGuard since the company’s launch in 2018 to provide Microsoft users with access to independent trust information about sources and topics in the news. The technology company integrates NewsGuard data to benefit users of numerous products, including the Edge browser, the MSN news aggregator, Bing search and AI-powered Bing Chat and tools for teachers and students including Search Coach. In addition, Microsoft is the global sponsor of NewsGuard’s news-literacy programs with public libraries.
“Access to tools like NewsGuard is critical in arming people with the information they need to evaluate the content they’re seeing online and help them make informed decisions,” said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Customer Security and Trust.
NewsGuard’s ratings of news sources, based on transparent, apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, provides Microsoft users the tools they need to evaluate the reliability of the news sources they encounter online. Microsoft also has access to NewsGuard’s catalog of top false narratives online, the Misinformation Fingerprints.
Here are some examples of how Microsoft provides NewsGuard trust tools to safeguard users online:
- Microsoft has made NewsGuard’s browser extension available free on its Edge browser, giving users a tool to help them distinguish between reliable and unreliable news sources. Once installed, the extension displays NewsGuard’s Reliability Ratings and Nutrition Labels within the user’s browser. This helps Microsoft build trust with its consumers by providing greater source credibility context for internet and search users. As the first internet browser to integrate NewsGuard’s Reliability Ratings into its internet interface, Edge facilitates the critical thinking necessary to keep Microsoft users protected online.
- NewsGuard ratings are also integrated natively into the Discover Pane of Microsoft Edge, so that all Edge users can access transparently sourced information about the reliability of sources.
- Search Coach is a research tool launched by Microsoft, aimed at enhancing digital literacy skills in students and helping them become savvier users of search engines. NewsGuard’s data has been seamlessly integrated in this tool, allowing Search Coach users to access source-level Reliability Ratings for news websites while conducting research online. Learn more about Microsoft’s tools for helping students distinguish between credible sources and misinformation.
- Microsoft’s AI for Good Lab created a Russian Propaganda Index (RPI) to monitor news flow from Russian state-sponsored outlets, using data from NewsGuard to help define which sites are known purveyors of state-sponsored media. The report states: “[There is a] rapidly evolving need to help consumers develop a more sophisticated ability to identify propaganda that comes from foreign cyber influence operations. Globally, new technology like the browser plug-in from NewsGuard can help move this effort forward much faster.” “Defending Ukraine: Early Lessons from the Cyber War,” Microsoft July 2022 report
- The Microsoft News platform behind Microsoft Start/MSN uses NewsGuard’s ratings to screen news brands for misinformation risk during the onboarding process and prioritize trustworthy sources in their news aggregation.
- Microsoft also sponsors NewsGuard’s pro bono Media Literacy Program, which serves more than 800 libraries across the world, reaching approximately 7 million patrons each year. NewsGuard provides schools and libraries at no charge with media literacy resources that help guide learners of all ages through the overwhelming landscape of online news and information. Public libraries globally use NewsGuard’s browser extension on their computers, and educators worldwide consult NewsGuard’s extension and other educational resources to help students develop source evaluation skills.
- Microsoft listed NewsGuard as a resource for digital media literacy education in their comprehensive guidebook to help rebuild sustainable local news ecosystems.
Microsoft’s Bing Chat and Trusted Generative AI
Microsoft’s Bing search engine and its new Bing Chat generative AI model have access to NewsGuard data. Bing Chat can access NewsGuard ratings and its Misinformation Fingerprints as its generative AI model addresses topics in the news. This input is one factor in Bing Chat, which has been recognized as an AI industry leader in avoiding the spread of misinformation.