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TripleLift Forges Partnership with NewsGuard as Ad Industry Confronts the Funding of Misinformation Sites

By July 21, 2020 No Comments

TripleLift will use NewsGuard’s ratings of news sources to root out low credibility sites and remove sources of funding

TripleLift, one of the fastest-growing ad tech companies in the world announced an agreement to work with NewsGuard, the company that fights misinformation by rating and reviewing thousands of news and information websites for credibility and transparency. TripleLift will use NewsGuard’s rating system to remove sites from its roster that do not meet acceptable standards of credibility. The agreement was made as a response to the increasing number of websites positioning themselves as news but instead operating in misinformation.

The monetization of these sites has become a flashpoint in the advertising industry. The properties – sometimes referred to as fake news sites – have proliferated over the last few years, publishing opinion and conspiracy theories that are often confused by consumers as fact.  Consumer advocacy groups have demanded brands stop advertising on sites due to their potentially harmful or hurtful content. The recent boycott by brands of Facebook has received a great deal of attention, but content shared on its platform actually originates from standalone properties on both sides of the political spectrum. TripleLift, which prides itself on offering premium inventory to its agency and brand customers, is actively working to rid its platform of these questionable properties.

NewsGuard has worked with agencies and publishers, but this is the first time a programmatic ad exchange – or Supply Side Platform (SSP) – has struck a relationship. “In service of offering brand safe environments for buyers, we have been manually removing websites from our roster that we believe to be in conflict with appropriate news standards,” said Max Dowaliby, Director of Product Management at TripleLift. “But our core competency is building ad products, so at some point our decisions become subjective. NewsGuard gives us the ability to use a respected third-party system, managed by experts.”

“As a Supply-Side Exchange, TripleLift cuts checks to 3,500 properties every month,” said Jordan Bitterman, CMO of TripleLift. “We’re proud of our scale and how we help fund such a large number of premium publishers. Our partnership with NewsGuard is important to help ensure we do not monetize misinformation or hate speech, which is bad business, inconsistent with our company values, and in conflict with how our advertisers want to spend their dollars.”

NewsGuard assesses websites based on nine criteria including: does not repeatedly publish false information, gathers information responsibly, regularly corrects or clarifies errors, avoids deceptive headlines and reveals conflicts of interest. The company employs a team of trained journalists and experienced editors to review and assign ratings. It was founded by Co-CEOs Steven Brill, who also founded The American Lawyer, Court TV and the Yale Journalism Initiative, and Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

“The plague of misinformation that our society faces today–from health and medical hoaxes to toxic propaganda–is often unknowingly funded by programmatic advertisers,” Brill  explained. “We’re pleased to see Triple Lift taking the lead among SSPs in ensuring that ad dollars spent on news content are directed toward trustworthy sources instead–using our transparent, humanly curated data about source reliability to do so with fairness, accuracy and transparency.”

TripleLift will address their publisher roster each month based on NewsGuard’s regularly updated rankings. This partnership comes on the heels of TripleLift’s “Help Journalism” programmatic media initiative designed to boost the struggling news publishing industry which has been hit hard during the pandemic with sharply declining revenue in part due to a rise in advertisers’ excluding news and news sites from their buys. 

About TripleLift

TripleLift, one of the fastest-growing ad tech companies in the world, is a technology company rooted at the intersection of creative and media. Its mission is to make advertising better for everyone— content owners, advertisers and consumers—by reinventing ad placement one medium at a time. With direct inventory sources, diverse product lines, and creative designed for scale using our Computer Vision technology, TripleLift is driving the next generation of programmatic advertising from desktop to television. As of January 2020, TripleLift has recorded four years of consecutive growth of greater than 70 percent, and in 2019 added employees and locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. TripleLift is a Business Insider Hottest AdTech Company, Inc. Magazine 5000, Crain’s New York Fast 50, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500. Find more information about how TripleLift is shaping the future of advertising at triplelift.com.

About NewsGuard

NewsGuard was launched in September 2018 by award winning journalist and media entrepreneur Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz. The company provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites. NewsGuard rates all the news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy. NewsGuard rates each site based on nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, including whether a site repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines. It awards weighted points for each criterion and sums them up; a score of less than 60 earns a “Red” rating, while 60 and above earns a “Green” rating, which indicates it is generally reliable. For more information, including to download the browser extension and review the ratings process, visit newsguardtech.com/get-newsguard/