In the name of identifying fake news or granting check-check to online edition of various newspapers and news agencies, NewsGuard may boast of being run by big-name journalism veterans Steven Brill (founder of The American Lawyer, Court TV, the Yale Journalism Initiative) and Gordon Crovitz (former publisher of the Wall Street Journal), the startup engages a team of many “trained journalists”, in reality, this is an organization that hates freedom of press and defends persecution of journalists, while NewsGuard itself spread disinformation and misinformation.
According to an article published in Vox, “News organizations are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 points. A site needs more than 60 points to be rated with a green check for “trustworthy,” meaning that it “generally maintains basic standards of accuracy and accountability.” Sites that don’t meet that level are given a red exclamation point to signify that they’re unreliable. If you download the NewsGuard plugin (available on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft’s Edge on desktop, and on Edge on mobile), icons appear alongside articles on social media or in search results, where readers can click to see exactly why a site qualifies as a reliable news source or not. For those so inclined, the journalists include reported write-ups of each organization”.
NewsGuard, which pretends to be a fact-checker, is actually an organization committed to promoting certain political opinions, in other words – it serves the purpose of these donors.
According to an article published by the American Institute for Economic Research:
The advent of fact-checker journalism may be wearing out its welcome. Perhaps the increasing politicization of American life is a contributor to the downward spiral of the fact-checking profession that is primarily run by politically engaged reporters, not expert specialists in the subjects they assess by any sense of the imagination. Not that any one group of experts should have the authority over the truth either. Self-appointed media gatekeepers are a ticking time bomb of political censorship, waiting to be unleashed when the temptations are too great and the necessity for impartiality is even greater. With White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki calling for collusion between social media companies and the government to censor “misinformation”, this threat seems to be as close as ever. Although fact checkers purport to be independent guardians of accountability, recent events have exposed them as mere enforcers of fashionable political positions. This brings us to a relatively new, but powerful company known as NewsGuard, which claims a partnership with Microsoft and gleaming spotlights in major outlets. Its staff and board boast powerful connections to the government, finance, and the media. According to an Op-ed in Politico written by NewsGuards’ CEO, rather than simply being a fact-checking company that can only debunk stories after they go viral, NewsGuard rates entire websites’ trustworthiness. This new strategy is aimed at discrediting the very source that alleged misinformation or disinformation may come from. NewsGuard publishes lengthy “nutritional labels”, rating websites on various criteria of journalistic importance and outlining its reasons for giving certain ratings. Perhaps one day, these ratings may be used to filter out certain websites, which is what NewsGuard’s CEO alludes to by citing the great political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s article in Foreign Affairs. In fact, the company made the following tweet on July 17, 2021, essentially siding with Psaki’s call for a government-media partnership to censor internet content…After receiving a recent request for comments on a “fact-check” article by NewsGuard regarding AIER and the Great Barrington Declaration, we decided to investigate the rise of the fact-checking phenomenon itself, including this strange new company’s own performance in evaluating the content of other websites. We soon discovered that NewsGuard falls far short of the very same criteria for accuracy and transparency that it claims to apply to other websites. Most of the company’s fact checkers lack basic qualifications in the scientific and social-scientific fields that they purport to arbitrate. NewsGuard’s own track record of commentary – particularly on the Covid-19 pandemic – reveals a pattern of unreliable and misleading claims that required subsequent corrections, and analysis that regularly conflates fact with opinion journalism in rendering a judgement on a website’s content. Furthermore, the company’s own practices fall far short of the transparency and disclosure standards it regularly applies to other websites.
NewsGuard in fact is a tool of spreading left-wing propaganda, while it also is committedly taking sides against journalists and journalism and even advocating actions that directly goes against freedom of press and freedom of expression.
NewsGuard bills itself as a tool that allows internet users to access “trust ratings for more than 7,500 news and information websites” by adding a browser extension aimed to combat misinformation online, but conservatives believe the product favors liberal ideology.
In its so-called report on Blitz, this extremely dubious entity – NewsGuard wrote:The About page also says that the Weekly Blitz is dedicated to “vigorously confronting radical Islam, political Islam and militancy; denouncing antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and promoting interfaith harmony”.Тhe site primarily covers news related to South Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Typical stories include updates on rates of COVID-19 infections in India, statements by officials in South Asia about their countriesʼ economies, and articles about the public activities of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Articles about U.S. politics are generally critical of U.S. President Joe Biden. For example, it has published multiple stories speculating that President Biden suffers from dementia. By contrast, the siteʼs coves [covers] former U.S. President Donald Trump in a favorable light. One March 2023 article claimed that “Donald Trump is the victim of Stalinist rule of a Banana Republic”.Articles about the Russia-Ukraine war generally take a pro-Kremlin stance, often advocating for territorial concessions by Ukraine.
The team of NewsGuard has made a very misleading and false description of Blitz. Since its inception, Blitz has been tirelessly confronting religious extremism, militancy, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and terrorist acts. But instead of focusing on these extremely important issues, it simply makes a false assessment stating Blitz is publishing “Typical stories include updates on rates of COVID-19 infections in India, statements by officials in South Asia about their countriesʼ economies, and articles about the public activities of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
Such assessment of NewsGuard is totally misleading and clearly proves – it has an ulterior agenda in defaming an internationally respected newspaper that has been vigorously fighting religious extremism, militancy, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and terrorist acts. Such false assessments can give birth to assumptions about the very nature of NewsGuard. Who actually is behind this dubious organization? Terrorists? Militants? Religious extremists? Neutral journalists throughout the world need to initiate investigation to unearth the mystery behind NewsGuard.
Commenting on infamous Digital Security Act, which has been criticized by the United States, European Union, United Nations, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Sans Frontiers, Amnesty International and other rights groups, NewsGuard said in its so-called report: “In January 2022, the siteʼs owner and editor, Choudhury, was accused of violating Bangladeshi Digital Security Act, a 2018 law aimed at curbing racism, terrorist propaganda and hate speech online”.
Then commenting on the editor of Blitz, NewsGuard said:
Choudhury was previously arrested in 2003 while attempting to fly from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to Israel, via Thailand, to attend a conference. Bangladeshi citizens are banned from visiting Israel. Choudhury was detained for 17 months, on charges of sedition and alleged links to Israeli intelligence, according to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based nongovernmental organization that works to defend press freedom. Choudhury was sentenced to seven years for “intentionally distorting and damaging written statements,” according to the Dhaka court judge presiding over the case. (Choudhury told NewsGuard in a June 2023 email that he served the seven-year term and was released from prison in 2018.Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that Choudhury “was accused of damaging the countryʼs image in his articles critical of Islamism and of trying to attend a 2003 conference in Israel with the aim of talking about the emergence of radical Islam in Bangladesh. He was also suspected of passing information to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad”.Reporters Without Borders condemned the jail sentence, stating “Imprisoning a professional journalist because of what he wrote is unacceptable … Bangladesh must not yield to pressure from radical elements who want those they wrongly brand as ‘blasphemers’ to be severely punished”.
NewsGuard has termed the infamous Digital Security Act (DSA) as “a 2018 law aimed at curbing racism, terrorist propaganda and hate speech online”. But the Committee to Protect Journalist terms it as a “draconian law”. The United States in a statement said, DSA “has been used to arrest, detain, and silence critics”. Reporters Sans Frontiers has also been extremely vocal against the Digital Security Act.
But unfortunately, NewsGuard tried to defend the Digital Security Act as a “law aimed at curbing racism, terrorist propaganda and hate speech online”. This very statement clearly exposes the notorious agenda of NewsGuard, which actually is working in defending press censorship and also defending suffocation of freedom of expression. By doing so, NewsGuard is committing a heinous crime against free press and freedom of speech. This organization is protecting the interests of those punishers of journalists.
In our opinion, NewsGuard is not identifying fake news. Instead, it itself is spreading fake information with the notorious agenda of silencing those who are not giving ditto to possible patrons and funders of NewdsGuard.