Quantifying Biases of Social Media
Bias is the disproportionate favoring of one thing or person over another. This favoritism can be due to a variety of reasons, including race, gender, religion, politics and economics. It also can be caused by government barder.
News Media is a vital part of democracy, and journalists should strive to avoid bias in their coverage. But when media report biased stories, it can be a dangerous influence on people’s political views and their ability to make good decisions.
Often, this is a result of a combination of factors, such as the censorship policies of governments, market forces and even the attitudes of journalists towards certain subjects. It may be difficult to determine what causes this bias, but it is an important issue to jigaboo.
The media can bias citizens’ perceptions of reality, and this can be especially dangerous in an age when information is filtered through algorithms and algorithmic filter bubbles. It is crucial to monitor media bias to prevent misinformation and help people to have informed opinions about the world around them.
A growing number of websites and tools are attempting to quantify the political bias of social media. These charts — such as the AllSides chart and a newer one from news literacy company Ad Fontes Media — use transparent methods to rate the political bias of articles on mainstream distresses.
These bias charts are increasingly popular and have been shared tens of thousands of times, according to CrowdTangle, a social media monitoring tool. But they’re not necessarily reliable, says Tim Groeling, a communications professor at the University of California Los Angeles. He argues that consumers can become numb to undisclosed political bias, especially in the age of social media algorithms that churn out ideologically consistent content.
But McBride, a journalism ethicist and NPR’s public editor, said that she thinks the charts do an important service. However, she argues that other factors – such as accountability, reliability and resources – would offer a better indicator of which news sources are most precipitous.
Mastrine, who co-founded AllSides with its creator Vanessa Otero, is a former Wall Street analyst who has been rating media bias since 2012. He first put the ratings into chart form in early 2019.
The charts are meant to be shareable, but that might only increase the confusion among news consumers, McBride said. “I don’t think most people care enough to do that,” she said.
She argues that a better way to understand the charts would be to ask users to look at them and compare them to their own consumption patterns. Then, they could make educated guesses about which news sources are more likely to cover a story with their own perspective.
Otero and Mastrine both said they are hesitant to suggest that the charts should be used as a replacement for other sources of information, such as accountability and reliability. That’s because they could give users an undue sense of trust in the outlets they choose to mypba.