OpenWeb Partners with NewsGuard to Combat Misinformation Online

The strategic partnership signals OpenWeb’s further commitment to improving online conversation and ensuring safer user environments across its network of over 1,000 publishers.

(Dec. 9, 2021 — New York) OpenWeb, the premium audience relationship platform, today announced an integral partnership with NewsGuard, a service that provides human-curated reliability ratings for more than 7,000 news and information websites.

Building on its partnership announced earlier this year with Global Disinformation Index (GDI), OpenWeb will leverage NewsGuard’s expertise and technology to sharpen its ability to enforce journalistic standards across its network of more than 1,000 publishers. This partnership comes on the heels of OpenWeb’s successful Series E fundraising round. The company will use this new investment doubled down on its commitment to improve online conversation.

“Through our partnership with NewsGuard we are further committing to improving our ability to identify and combat misinformation in our network and among prospective partners,” said Roee Goldberg, COO and Co-Founder of OpenWeb. “NewsGuard’s tech and partnerships adds a valuable layer of expertise to the enforcement of our publisher standards, and to our mission to create safer environments for readers online by improving online conversations.”

NewsGuard’s team of trained journalists use a completely transparent process to rate all of the websites that account for 95% of online engagement with news in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Italy. Each site is rated using nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, designed to assess the site’s credibility and transparency practices. Based on the nine criteria, sites receive a score zero to 100. Those scoring below 60 get a Red rating — indicating the site is generally unreliable. Those scoring 60 or above get a Green rating — indicating the site is generally reliable. The rating is described in a detailed “Nutrition Label” review, providing transparency to readers and publishers around how each rating was determined. In addition, all sites get ample opportunity to comment on their ratings before they are published.

NewsGuard works with advertisers, agencies, and ad tech companies to help them steer ad dollars away from sites spreading false narratives and instead direct their ads to trustworthy news sites. As NewsGuard has previously reported, major brands regularly and inadvertently place ads on misinformation websites, creating a reputation risk for the brands and a financial boon for the hoax websites. A recent NewsGuard report, published in partnership with Comscore found that advertisers are unintentionally spending $2.6 billion a year on programmatic advertising on misinformation and hoax sites, helping to explain the scale of the “infodemic.” For example, more than 4,000 top brands placed ads on sites spreading COVID-19 hoaxes, and more than 1,600 brands advertised on sites that published falsehoods about the 2020 U.S. elections.

“We are glad to welcome OpenWeb as the newest member of NewsGuard’s responsible advertiser partner network,” said Sarah Brandt, EVP Partnerships at NewsGuard. “While the ad industry has a long way to go to defund the online misinformation ecosystem, we’re encouraged to see companies like OpenWeb taking the initiative to stamp out misinformation on their platforms and elevate high quality news publishers.”

This is the most recent initiative from OpenWeb, as it ramps up work to ensure it is working with publishers that align with its values. In August, OpenWeb announced it had eliminated 50 total publisher partner domains that did not meet the company’s updated publisher and moderation standards through its partnership with GDI, a trusted third-party that aims to disrupt, defund, and down-rank disinformation sites.

To learn more, visit OpenWeb’s blog.

About NewsGuard

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 sources. NewsGuard rates all the news and information sources that account for 95% of online engagement across the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy. 

NewsGuard’s ratings are conducted by trained journalists using nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, including whether a news source repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines. Based on the criteria, each source receives an overall trust rating, a trust score of 0-100, a score on each of the nine criteria, and a detailed “Nutrition Label” explaining the rating and providing examples of the site’s editorial practices. Advertisers, advertising agencies and advertising tech companies license NewsGuard’s ratings to direct their programmatic advertising toward legitimate journalism and avoid misinformation. For more information, including to download the browser extension and review the ratings process, visit newsguardtech.com.

About OpenWeb

OpenWeb’s mission is to improve online conversation. As a product company, OpenWeb partners with publishers and brands to build strong, direct relationships with their audiences. OpenWeb’s technology empowers its partners to build vibrant communities rooted in healthy conversations and robust social experiences. OpenWeb works with more than 1,000 top-tier publishers, hosting more than 100 million active users each month.

Founded in 2012, OpenWeb has over 150 employees in New York City, Tel Aviv, and Kiev and is backed by world-class investors including Insight Venture Partners, Georgian, Entrée Capital, AltaIR Capital, New York Times, Samsung Next, Dentsu, Norma Investments, and ScaleUp. To date, the company has raised $223 million in funding and is currently valued at over $1 billion. To learn more about OpenWeb’s platform visit OpenWeb.com, or follow @OpenWebHQ on LinkedIn and Twitter.