NEW YORK—In a notable example of how some tech companies are working to provide consumers with tools that will help them find credible news sources and reduce the spread of disinformation, Yahoo has announced a deal to acquire the algorithm-driven news rating company The Factual.
Yahoo plans to use The Factual’s algorithm to provide Yahoo consumers with what it is calling “a first of its kind analysis of news stories” by rating articles with a media bias and credibility score.
The score will provide consumers additional insight into the content they consume and when applied to millions of users, can increase confidence in the news, Yahoo said.
“I’m thrilled to have The Factual join Yahoo in a time when access to trusted information is more critical than ever,” said Matt Sanchez, president and general manager of Yahoo Home Ecosystem. “The combination of Yahoo’s journalism and our publishing partners' content with The Factual’s news rating algorithm will bring a new level of transparency to Yahoo users, enabling them to make informed decisions on their news sources.”
“The Factual’s algorithm helps readers understand the complete story and easily get all the facts,” said Arjun Moorthy, co-founder and CEO, The Factual. “We are excited to join Yahoo with our shared mission of bringing trusted news to consumers. By applying The Factual’s algorithm across Yahoo’s content, consumers will be able to identify the news as determined by data, not politics.”
Each article receives a credibility and trust score between 1-100% based on four metrics:
- Site Quality: Site quality considers the site’s history of producing well-sourced, informative articles. Sites that have a history of producing high-scoring articles will have a higher rating.
- Author’s Expertise: Author expertise considers the author’s topical expertise based on how well-researched previous articles were.
- Quality and Diversity of Sources: The quality and diversity of sources considers how many original sources were cited in the article and the number of direct meaningful quotes (of at least 5 words) and how reputable those sources are.
- Article tone: The article tone considers how opinionated or neutral the language in an article.
These four metrics combine to rank the information and credibility of an article that will help consumers identify news sources they can trust by giving them all the facts to reach their own conclusions. News articles will also include a bias label that classifies news sites by political bias enabling consumers to see multiple perspectives across the political spectrum.
To date, The Factual has graded over 10 million news articles delivering rankings across a daily newsletter and a site that shows live trending topics.
The acquisition of The Factual closed August 23rd, 2022, the companies said.
Arjun Moorthy, CEO and co-founder of The Factual, and Ajoy Sojan, CTO and co-founder, will join Yahoo and take on product and engineering leadership roles in the organization.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.