Yahoo Acquires Source Credibility Algorithms With Latest Acquisition

Yahoo has announced a deal to buy The Factual, a news ratings company that scores media bias and credibility. Yahoo will implement this score to provide users with additional information about the accuracy and reliability of the content they consume.

“The acquisition continues Yahoo’s commitment to bring trusted news and information to its nearly 900 million consumers worldwide and builds on the company’s future vision for news,” said said the search engine. by press release.

Financial terms of the agreement reached on August 23 were not disclosed.

Purchase shows commitment to fighting misinformation

The Factual has just eight employees, all of whom will join Yahoo News, but Yahoo clearly sees the potential in its services. By completing this acquisition, Yahoo is investing in a commitment to fighting “fake news”.

Misinformation and disinformation are of growing concern in an environment where social media and information overload facilitated their spread.

Yahoo touts the ratings system as a “first-of-its-kind news analysis,” going even further than the fact-checking initiatives launched by Google, Facebook and YouTube.

“Combining Yahoo journalism and content from our publisher partners with The Factual’s news rating algorithm will bring a new level of transparency to Yahoo users, allowing them to make informed decisions about their news sources.” , said Matt Sanchez, president and CEO of Yahoo Home Ecosystem. said in the press release.

The Factual currently has over 10,000 English articles a day, providing rankings in a daily newsletter and a site that shows trending topics live.

Algorithm Scores News using artificial intelligence

The Factual, which launched in 2019, uses artificial intelligence to rate news on a 100-point scale using four criteria:

  • Site Quality, which tracks the site’s history of producing well-rated and well-sourced articles.
  • Author Expertise, which considers the author’s expertise on a topic based on previous articles.
  • The tone of the article, which takes into account the degree of opinion of the language used in the article.
  • Source Quality, which measures the quality and diversity of sources and meaningful direct quotes.

These scores are then used to create a weighted average, which is displayed to the reader, along with notes on the outlet’s political leanings.

Lower scores indicate credibility issues, where opinions are not necessarily supported by factual evidence. Higher scores, on the other hand, indicate that an article is likely to be trustworthy.

Although it appears that these scores initially only appear on Yahoo News, in the future they could potentially provide the site 107.7 million per month users with ratings for thousands of aggregated news.


Featured Image: Piotr Swat/Shutterstock

Sharon D. Cole