Yahoo announced the acquisition Tuesday of The Factual, a company that uses algorithms to rate the credibility of news sources.
The transaction closed in late August, but the company announced the deal today. The Factual's eight employees, including its founders, have joined Yahoo News full time.
Arjun Moorthy, co-founder and CEO at The Factual, stated: “We are excited to join Yahoo with our shared mission of bringing trusted news to consumers.”
Moorthy, along with Sojan, CTO will join Yahoo and take on product and engineering leadership roles in the organization.
The deal aims to bring ratings to Yahoo News' more than 200 million monthly visitors, bringing credibility to the thousands of news sources Yahoo aggregates to its site.
The Factual’s algorithm applied across Yahoo’s content will enable consumers to identify news determined by data, rather than politics. The technology minimizes political biases, highlights expertise and ignore popularity, and create transparency. The technology wasn’t trained on a set of articles deemed credible or non-credible. The technology assumes all articles have some biases. It reads multiple articles across the web.
Each article receives a credibility and trust score between 1% and 100% based on four metrics. Site quality considers the site’s history of producing well-sourced, informative articles.
Sites that have a history of producing high-scoring articles will receive a higher rating. Author expertise considers the author’s topical expertise based on how well-researched previous articles were. Quality and diversity of sources consider how many original sources were cited, and the number of direct meaningful quotes--of at least 5 words--and the reputation. The rating system also takes into consideration the tone of the article, how opinionated or neutral the language.
The Factual, which launched in 2019, estimates its technology has graded more than 10 million news articles and delivered a ranking across a daily newsletter and a site that shows live trending topics. The site offers a search service that enables a viewer to go to the site and click on certain keywords or enter a set of keywords into a search query.
The results return a list of articles, each with an average factual grade. In the case of political articles, there is an average Factual grade, average Factual grade for left leaning content, and average Factual grade for right leaning content.
Moorthy Told Axios that The Factual will continue to license its technology to other companies. The idea is to build out and test new features for Yahoo News that will increase reader trust and loyalty.
The deal marks Yahoo's first acquisition since Apollo Global Management acquired it, along with AOL, for $5 billion from Verizon in 2021.