Microsoft and Newsguard have announced a new partnership that will provide Newsguard service to Microsoft Edge users for free. In return, Microsoft has agreed to continue sponsoring NewsGuard’s news literacy program.
Newsguard was launched by journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz in 2018. The service employs journalists to rate websites based on nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice. The websites then receive a trust score between 0-100 and Green badge if it's trustworthy and Red badge if the website is not reliable.
Newsguard is currently available as a browser extension for all the major web browsers but requires a payment of $2.95/month. Under the new agreement with Microsoft, Edge users will be able to take advantage of the service without paying the monthly subscription fees. Microsoft has already integrated News Guard ratings into Microsoft Edge Mobile. Furthermore, Microsoft Bing will also have access to the real-time feed of NewsGuard data. NewsGuard co-founder Gordon Crovitz said:
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.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.
Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft said:
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. 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 has also announced that the extension will be free for everyone till July 1. This step was recently taken by the company to help people avoid the coronavirus misinformation and hoaxes. If you're interested in trying out the service then you can do so by downloading the browser extension from Newsguard's website.