Let’s face it: news and information in the age of the coronavirus is coming quickly. Every day, there are more numbers, stats, data, allegations and controversies centering around the pandemic from countless sources.
In these times, business leaders should rely only on qualified and trusted sources to help them make informed decisions about the future of their organization. If you’re an IT pro, you already know that the internet can be a breeding ground for misinformation and flat out fake news.
The tech industry has stepped up its efforts, with industry titans like Facebook, Google and YouTube dedicating resources to weeding out harmful misinformation. For users of Microsoft Edge, there is now a free service that will help you determine the credibility of what you’re reading.
NewsGuard is a web browser extension that is now free on Microsoft Edge. The service will show users the trust ratings of more than 4,000 news and information sites.
The service is backed by trained journalists and based on nine journalistic criteria. The service will tell users who’s behind each site, how it’s funded and whether its trustworthy.
With the extension, users will see the service’s ratings right next to links on search engines and social media feeds across all major platforms.
It typically requires a $2.95 monthly membership fee for access on most browsers, but NewsGuard is free for Microsoft Edge users if the extension is used on the browser and downloaded via the Edge store.
The free services is an expansion of NewsGuard’s relationship with Microsoft and the service’s availability, which NewsGuard recently made free for all internet users until July 1. Microsoft’s Bing search engine will now have access to a real-time feed of NewsGuard data. The company also opened a coronavirus misinformation center.
“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,” said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security and Trust, Microsoft. “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.”
We’re sure you’re tired of hearing about how these times are unprecedented, but we can’t stress that enough. During this period, it’s important to make decisions backed up by facts, evidence and science. Tools like NewsGuard – coupled with listening to local, state and federal officials – can help you make the right decisions.