Yahoo! recently acquired credibility rating company The Factual in a deal that was finalized last month.
Yahoo! plans for The Factual to label the hundred of thousands of articles the news site distributes. The ratings will be used on Yahoo! News articles, but not other sites like Yahoo! Finance or Sports.
The eight-person company is now a part of Yahoo’s staff, though Yahoo! executives are still working on how best to integrate the smaller company into the larger enterprise’s existing structure.
Yahoo! already has its own standards for news it distributes, but The Factual’s additional ratings could give readers a more complete picture. The Factual’s labels, for example, may mark a source as low credibility because it is based on strong opinion rather than fact.
The Factual uses artificial intelligence (AI) to rank articles based on site quality, author expertise, article tone, and quality of the sources. Using this criteria, the AI generates a credibility score. The score also displays the political leaning of the news site.
The company began in 2019 and currently rates more than 10,000 articles a day in English. Even with the deal with Yahoo!, the company will continue to license the technology to other companies.
Why it’s news
This is Yahoo’s first acquisition since Apollo Global Management bought it in 2021. The purchase also follows a trend of media companies increasing their efforts to minimize misinformation.
Yahoo! CEO Jim Lanzone has expressed interest in expanding its individual brands and gaining acquisitions to support those brands.
Rating the credibility of articles is one way that readers can better filter out misinformation found online. As midterms nears, more social-media sites are bolstering their existing misinformation screening methods.
Even with these methods to screen for misinformation, a new survey found that more people are seeing misinformation online. While many feel confident in their ability to recognize false information online, tools like The Factual can be helpful to readers as they make decisions on what news sources to trust.