NewsGuard is a desktop browser extension that displays credibility and transparency content scoring and is available by subscription. It launched in August 2018 and typically costs $2.95 per month for a desktop user.
In recent weeks, NewsGuard, the internet news watchdog service, has been escalating its battle against misinformation by opening a Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center and offering its service for free to all internet users until July 1.
Until recently, only Microsoft Edge mobile device users on iOS and Android had unlimited free access to the service. Last week, the company entered a partnership with Turnitin, and it will provide free access to the credibility and transparency scores to over 35 million students and teachers that use its service.
But, as of May 14, all users of Microsoft Edge, be it on mobile or desktop versions of the browser, have unlimited use of NewsGuard, for free — provided that the extension is used on that browser and is downloaded in Microsoft’s Edge store.
“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,” said NewsGuard co-CEO, Gordon Crovitz. “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.”
Under the new agreement, Microsoft will continue to sponsor NewsGuard’s news literacy program, through more than 700 libraries provide NewsGuard to their more than seven million patrons in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Italy — and it will expand the program into new countries, including Australia and Canada, which NewsGuard plans to serve later this year.
“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 at 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.”