NewsGuard Launches 2024 Election Misinformation Tracking Center, Rolls Out New Election Safety Assurance Package for Brand Advertising

Team of journalists trained as disinformation experts will focus on Russian and other state-sponsored networks and deploy AI tracking tools to protect brands from election misinformation risks

(February 29, 2024 — New York) NewsGuard, which deploys experienced journalists to rate the credibility of news sources and track false narratives spreading online, today announced it has launched an Election Misinformation Tracking Center to detect misinformation sources and narratives related to elections taking place around the world in 2024—and provide advertisers and brands with rigorous protections against election misinformation risks while enabling them safely to advertise on trusted news sites.

The Tracking Center will combine the expertise of NewsGuard’s team of journalists trained as disinformation analysts with powerful AI tools enabling early detection of election misinformation narratives and rigorous flagging of sources that are spreading those narratives online. Since its launch in 2018, NewsGuard’s team of analysts has rated the credibility of more than 35,000 websites, social media accounts, video channels, and podcasts publishing news and information content, flagging those that repeatedly publish false information on significant topics.

Leveraging powerful AI-powered media monitoring tools, analysts at the tracking center are monitoring content being published by 963 websites and 793 social media accounts and video channels associated with publishers flagged for repeatedly publishing false or egregiously misleading claims about elections. This includes hundreds of websites and accounts promoting Russian, Chinese, and Iranian disinformation narratives.

NewsGuard’s Election Safety Assurance Package will also protect advertisers from having their programmatic ads appear on AI-generated news websites. NewsGuard analysts have discovered more than 700 websites they have classified as Unreliable AI-Generated News websites (UAINs), which operate with little to no human oversight. NewsGuard maintains a UAIN Tracking Center.

In advance of the 2024 U.S. elections, NewsGuard’s team will also monitor 1,162 so-called “Pink Slime” websites—partisan websites in the U.S. NewsGuard analysts have found masquerading as local news outlets, many of which are funded by political organizations on the left and right without clear disclosure to readers.

As new false narratives relating to elections are detected, they will be cataloged in NewsGuard’s Misinformation Fingerprints database and monitored using AI-powered tools to detect new and emerging misinformation publishers to be flagged.

“Our analysts are the best in the industry at monitoring, flagging, and tracking misinformation risks,” said Steven Brill, NewsGuard’s Co-CEO. “Now, we’ve equipped them with powerful AI tools, enabling them to detect and track misinformation more quickly and at a greater scale. As a result, we are monitoring a unique – and, unfortunately, burgeoning – catalog of Russian disinformation sources and pink slime actors, both targeting voters.

“We have found that, with programmatic technology now placing 15 million ad impressions every second of every day, even advertisers that think they are avoiding risk by staying off news altogether are still ending up on some of the worst disinformation sites. Which is why our humanly vetted, constantly updated inclusion lists are now so important,” Brill explained.

Protecting Brands from Election Misinformation

The data captured by NewsGuard’s Election Misinformation Tracking Center will power NewsGuard’s Election Safety Assurance Package for brand advertising, a set of tools that enable brands to advertise on high-quality, brand-safe news during election season—taking advantage of the consumers’ high attention to news content while avoiding brand safety risks from misinformation.

The suite includes:

  • Inclusion lists for targeting ad placements on high quality, brand-safe political news sources
  • Exclusion lists for avoiding ad placements on sources flagged for publishing election misinformation or highly partisan content
  • Credibility data about Podcast, CTV, and Linear TV news sources covering political news for use in media planning
  • Election misinformation risk briefings on a weekly basis from NewsGuard’s team of analysts, keeping your team aware of emerging risks.

As new sources, narrative, or risk areas are captured in the Election Misinformation Tracking Center, that data will flow immediately to clients using NewsGuard’s APIs, cloud data feed, client dashboard, and contextual targeting integrations through partners such as Peer39, Comscore, Semasio. Similarly, clients activating NewsGuard through Private Marketplace Deals in Pubmatic, OpenX, or other supply-side activation partners will be protected from emerging risks detected through the tracking center.

In 2020, NewsGuard data showed that more than 1,600 brands had advertised on election misinformation in the period leading up to and following election day—including many top brands that had already deployed legacy verification providers for brand safety. In all, brands send more than $2.6 billion to misinformation publishers each year, according to a Comscore study based on NewsGuard data.

“In conversations with brands in the market, we keep hearing two recurring themes this year: That brands recognize the value of news audiences, especially in an election year. At the same time, they are concerned about the brand-safety risks inherent in advertising on political news during a polarizing event,” said Bessie Frank, SVP of Ad Industry Partnerships for NewsGuard.

“We launched our Election Safety Assurance Package for brand advertising to provide a solution to both problems. They can enjoy the economic benefits of reaching engaged news audiences and support democracy, while avoiding the risks of having their ad dollars support those determined to undermine democracy.”

To learn more about NewsGuard’s Election Safety Assurance Package for brand advertising, contact partnerships@newsguardtech.com.


About NewsGuard

Founded by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides transparent tools to counter misinformation for readers, brands, and democracies. Since launching in 2018, its global staff of trained journalists and information specialists has collected, updated, and deployed more than 6.9 million data points on more than 35,000 news and information sources, and cataloged and tracked all of the top false narratives spreading online.

NewsGuard’s analysts, powered by multiple AI tools, operate the trust industry’s largest and most accountable dataset on news. These data are deployed to fine-tune and provide guardrails for generative AI models, enable brands to advertise on quality news sites and avoid propaganda or hoax sites, provide media literacy guidance for individuals, and support democratic governments in countering hostile disinformation operations targeting their citizens.

Among other indicators of the scale of its operations is that NewsGuard’s apolitical and transparent criteria have been applied by its analysts to rate news sources accounting for 95% of online engagement with news across nine countries.