Monday, February 14, 2005

Google News: Unfair and Biased?

I use Google News on a regular basis, you probably use it too. Ever wondered whether it was biased? Honestly, I have considered the idea. In the end I assumed I was over-reacting. News in general tends to lean a little left. And the actual decisions are made by machines right? It's all based on mathematical formulas using statistics and numbers, so how can editorial bias get into it? Then I saw two stories from Michelle Malkin.

Long story short Google is a company that votes mostly Democrat. 98% of the $207,650 they donated went to the Dems, more than any other tech sector company. Ok so what?

Well it turns out that they have been embracing left wing news sources, while excluding their right wing counterparts. Google considers Wonkette, a capitol hill gossip blog, a news source. It considers Democratic Underground, a forum for leftwing partisan hackery, a news source too. But when right wing sources like Michelle Malkin or Little Green Footballs attempt to get listed, they are turned down for various reasons.

So if you start to feel that Google News is a little biased, perhaps it is. It is called the gatekeeper phenomenon. The algorithms may be bipartisan, but if the pool they draw from is not, then the picture is skewed anyway.

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