NewsGuard Partners with BT to provide UK audiences with Online Misinformation Tool
London, 31 July 2020 – NewsGuard and BT are partnering to provide an online news literacy tool for free to millions of UK households. NewsGuard’s credibility ratings allow internet users to easily access information about the news websites in their social media feeds and search results.
As part of its partnership with BT, NewsGuard will give free access to its browser extension and mobile app for BT customers and employees in the UK through October 31, 2020. BT customers and employees will receive vouchers to download the NewsGuard browser extension, which works on every major internet browser, as well as its iOS and Android mobile apps, for free on unlimited family devices.
NewsGuard’s team of journalists rates news and information websites based on nine basic, 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. It awards weighted points for each criterion and sums them up; a score of less than 60 earns a “red” rating, while 60 and above earns a “green” rating, which indicates it is generally reliable. NewsGuard provides its detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and U.S.
As part of its efforts to help in the global effort against COVID-19, NewsGuard made its browser extension, which costs £2.95/month, free to download until July 1. The partnership with BT extends this offer to BT customers and employees until October 31, 2020.
BT will make information about NewsGuard available on its website and will promote the offer through its newsroom blogs.
Helen Burrows, Director of Content & Services, BT Group, said:
“BT is committed to protecting its customers from false and often dangerous online misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic. Our continued partnership with NewsGuard gives millions of UK households the ability to navigate the online space with confidence, flagging unreliable websites and guiding users to trustworthy sources of news and information.”
Anna-Sophie Harling, Europe MD at NewsGuard, said: “The amount of medical misinformation online is staggering. We’ve spent the last few months tracking websites publishing false health claims, identifying bad actors seeking to profit from the uncertainty around COVID-19. I encourage BT customers to take advantage of the NewsGuard tool and think critically about the information they encounter in their social media feeds and search results.”
BT is one of the world’s leading communication companies, based in the UK but serving customers in 180 countries. Through its three brands -EE, Plusnet and BT- it offers fixed-line and mobile broadband, connecting millions of customers to information, entertainment, friends and family, at home and on the move.
BT is committed to building better digital lives through its Skills for Tomorrow programme, aiming to equip 10million people in the UK by 2025 with the skills to navigate the online world.
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 apps, and the Edge mobile browser. Over 700 libraries globally use NewsGuard’s free media literacy browser extension on their public-access computers for patrons.