New Agreement Expands News Literacy Sponsorship, Provides All Users of Microsoft Edge Browser Free Access to NewsGuard’s Ratings and Nutrition Labels, and Delivers Data to Bing Search Engine
(New York, May 14, 2020) NewsGuard Technologies, which uses trained journalists to review and rate the credibility of thousands of news and information websites and their associated social media accounts, today announced a significant expansion and extension of its partnership with Microsoft.
Under the agreement, Microsoft will continue to sponsor NewsGuard’s news literacy program—through which more than 700 libraries provide NewsGuard to their more than seven million patrons in the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy—and will expand the program into new countries, including Australia and Canada, which NewsGuard plans to serve later this year.
The agreement will also enable all users of Microsoft Edge’s desktop and mobile browser to access NewsGuard’s ratings for free, without paying the $2.95 monthly subscription fee that users of other browsers must pay. Microsoft has already integrated NewsGuard’s ratings into Microsoft Edge Mobile. In addition, Microsoft’s Bing search engine will now have access to a real-time feed of NewsGuard data.
Also, under the agreement, all other Microsoft departments are now able to use NewsGuard ratings and labels in their products and services. Projects already underway include the company’s Defending Democracy Program and teams within Microsoft Research who are working on misinformation, disinformation and health care hoaxes.
“We are delighted to be able to expand our relationship with Microsoft, which is a leader among companies in taking steps to address the unforeseen, unintended consequences of new technologies,” said NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz. “The internet has empowered people around the world with unprecedented access to information, but the internet has also made it easier than ever for misinformation to spread, including health care hoaxes about COVID-19.”
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with Microsoft to arm its customers with NewsGuard ratings and Nutrition Labels to help them know the difference between generally reliable sources of news and information and generally unreliable sources,” added co-CEO Steven Brill. “With the exponential spread of unreliable healthcare hoaxes found online next to reliable sources, consumers need this information more than ever.”
“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, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security and Trust, Microsoft. “Defending against disinformation campaigns is a key focus of our Defending Democracy Program. NewsGuard’s work has become especially relevant because of its trailblazing efforts to root out online hoaxes related to health and healthcare issues, including those concerning Covid-19. We’re proud of our role in making it available.”
NewsGuard also announced that Kate O’Sullivan, General Manager of Digital Diplomacy, Microsoft, has joined NewsGuard’s global advisory board. Its other members include Gen. Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and National Security Agency; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former Secretary General of NATO; Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education; and Ed Vaizey, former Member of British Parliament and former Minister of Culture and Digital.
Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Italy.
NewsGuard employs journalists to rate each site based on nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, including whether a site repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines. Based on the criteria, each site receives a trust score of 0-100 and an overall rating of “Green,” indicating the site is generally reliable, or “Red,” indicating that it is not reliable.
NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels can be licensed by education technology companies, internet service providers, browsers, news aggregators, and social media and search platforms. Consumers can access NewsGuard’s ratings through its browser extension, Android and iOS and the Microsoft Edge mobile browser.