As tech giants figure out how to keep users from engaging with fake and misleading news online, a new Gallup poll suggests one potentially effective approach. In the survey, which was commissioned by journalism startup NewsGuard and its investor, the Knight Foundation, more than 60 percent of respondents said they were less likely to share stories from sites that were clearly labeled as unreliable. They were also more likely to trust stories from websites marked as credible.
NewsGuard was founded by media executives Steve Brill and Gordon Crovitz to do just that. The company, which launched last summer, has developed credibility ratings for more than 2,000 of the web’s most popular sites, using a team of journalists to vet each site based on a set list of criteria. Its browser extension affixes a red icon to websites that fail its test and a green icon to ones that pass. Users can also see a full “nutrition label” explaining each rating.
The extension has been live for months, but this survey is the first evidence of how people might respond to its ratings in the wild. The question was: Would users find NewsGuard itself to be trustworthy? Or would it face the same accusations of partisan bias that have dogged social media companies like Facebook and Twitter? While it’s not a peer-reviewed study, and the topic certainly warrants further inspection, it’s an encouraging sign not only for the startup but for anyone seeking remedies for the scourge of misinformation online.
Read more here: https://www.wired.com/story/gallup-poll-fake-news-ratings