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Browser tool balances political news
A browser plug-in can help people balance political news consumption by tracking whether articles they read really provide a balanced view, U.S. researcher say.
University of Washington researcher Sean Munson say his Balancer free plug-in for the Chrome browser can analyze a person’s online reading habits for a month and calculate the political bias in that behavior, then suggest sites that represent a different point of view and continues to monitor reading behavior and offer feedback.
“I was a bit surprised when I was testing out the tool to learn just how slanted my own reading behavior was,” Munson said in a university release Thursday. “Even self-discovery is a valuable outcome, just being aware of your own behavior.”
Balancer classifies more than 10,000 news sites on a spectrum ranging from far left to far right using results of previous studies and existing media-bias indices, Munson said.
If a reader’s habits move to one side of the spectrum, the plug-in will suggest top news sites on the other side, he said.
“If you do agree that you should be reading the other side, or at least aware of the dialogue in each camp, you can use it as a goal: Can I be more balanced this week than I was last week?”
Copyright 2012 by United Press International