The Misinformation Risk Index (MRI) uses Pulsar's Visibility data and NewsGuard's Reliability Ratings data to evaluate brands' exposure to misinformation by quantifying each brand’s misinformation risk level on a weekly basis. It also visualizes how this risk has changed over the prior 12 weeks.
The Misinformation Risk Score is measured on a relative scale of 0-10.
This is calculated on a weekly basis, in which the number of times a brand is mentioned across sites rated unreliable by NewsGuard is multiplied by the Visibility of the post or article in question. The brand with the highest exposure to misinformation is given a maximum score of 10, against which all other scores are normalized. The final Misinformation Risk Score is the average of the score over the last four weeks. A score of 0 equates to the lowest risk of brand exposure to misinformation amongst comparable brands, while a score of 10 indicates that the brand is most at risk of such exposure.
The score integrates NewsGuard's Reliability Rating of a given website (which includes 9 standards of credibility and transparency, such as whether a publisher frequently publishes false content, discloses its ownership, and corrects any errors) and Pulsar's Visibility Score for a given piece of content (which accounts for audience size, engagement, and estimated reach) to determine each brand's risk of exposure to misinformation. The risk score does not claim that misinformation about the specific brand has necessarily been published, but instead evaluates the risk of a brand being associated with or appearing adjacent to misinformation content online.
The selection of 25 brands is based on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2021. Several brands within the Interbrand list (Cisco, Intel, SAP, UPS and Adobe) are excluded due to zero brand mentions taking place across NewsGuard Rated Red Sites.