NewsGuard Extends and Expands Licensing Agreement with Microsoft

NewsGuard Technologies, which uses trained journalists to review and rate the credibility of thousands of news and information websites and their associated social media accounts, announced a significant expansion and extension of its licensing agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft will continue to implement NewsGuard data as a key resource to reinforce its efforts to counter disinformation, support credible journalism, and work against financial incentives to promote untrustworthy content.

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A few key terms form the new three-year agreement include the following: NewsGuard’s news literacy initiatives will continue to be sponsored by Microsoft’s Defending Democracy program—through which more than 800 public libraries provide NewsGuard to their more than seven million patrons in the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy. NewsGuard plans to expand the program into new countries, including Australia and Canada, later this year. Also, all users of Microsoft Edge’s desktop and mobile browser will have free access to the extension which display’s NewsGuard’s ratings, without paying the $2.95 monthly subscription fee that users of other browsers must pay. NewsGuard will also continue to provide its data for use in promoting trustworthy sources of news and information by Microsoft News and the Bing search engine and provide training, resources, and other support to Microsoft’s efforts, announced last fall, to preserve and protect journalism and local newsrooms.

“We are delighted to be able to continue to expand our relationship with Microsoft, which has consistently been the leader among global companies in taking steps to address the unforeseen, unintended consequences of new technologies,” said NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz. “Microsoft was the first technology company to embrace NewsGuard’s ratings as a ‘middleware’ solution, integrating NewsGuard tools into its products, empowering Microsoft users with choices to protect themselves and their families from misinformation online. Microsoft’s leadership has made this middleware approach a broader industry solution to the need for greater online safety at a time of an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation on social media and other digital platforms.”

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“Microsoft’s standing as a leading global citizen played a key role in giving NewsGuard the early attention and credibility that has now enabled us to attract so many other partners who license our data for so many uses,” said co-CEO Steven Brill. “We continue to be grateful to be working with Microsoft to arm its customers with NewsGuard ratings and Nutrition Labels to help them know the difference between generally reliable sources of news and information and generally unreliable sources,” he added.

“We believe that this agreement will help us to contribute with impact and scale to efforts to increase societal resilience against disinformation,” said Kate O’Sullivan, General Manager of Digital Diplomacy, Microsoft, and a member of NewsGuard’s global advisory board. “Countering disinformation through technology is a key pillar of Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program. NewsGuard offers important tools to help evaluate online news sources before relying on the credibility of their contents. We are looking forward to helping consumers in this way and the work we will do together under the extension of our agreement with NewsGuard.”