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.

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.

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“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., FranceGermany, 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.

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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.”

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