To investigate, inform, and improve the quality of information published on the World Wide Web.
The idea for a Web credibility project grew out of a 1998 conference sponsored by the Project for Excellence in Journalism in which print and new media journalists agreed there was a need to create standards to ensure appropriate separation of editorial content, advertising, and e-commerce on the Web. The project found a home at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine and ConsumerReports.org, and Consumer Reports WebWatch was launched in April 2002 — and relaunched with a new design in February 2005 — with funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. The site's content is free.
Outstanding Web Features:
The WebWatch site provides credibility guidelines (now available in Spanish) for individual Web sites as well as for search engine and navigation sites, and supplies a list of more than one hundred sites that meet those standards. An online form allows visitors to lodge complaints against other sites, and links to reports, articles, and other resources are organized by category — For Consumers, For Businesses, and For The Media. Visitors to the site can also register to receive personalized content organized and displayed according to their liking.