Sunday, November 23, 2008

Microsoft Blews: Software program to rate political media bias

This is not the typical Unbiased Tabloid blog post. It doesn't analyze any media messages nor does it expose any bias. Instead, it serves to inform you of an innovative news aggregator that identifies the political orientation (or bias) of news articles.

Microsoft Blews is a software program in development that uses political blogs to categorize news stories as either conservative or liberal. These categorizations are based on the number of "right" or "left" blog links to a story. Blews also determines the "emotional charge" present in the blogospheres' discussion of the news topic.

"BLEWS achieves this goal by digesting and analyzing a real-time feed of political-blog posts, " says Microsoft.

This feed is provided by the Live Labs Social Media platform.

In addition to identifying the "political orientation" of news stories, Blews strives to create a more balanced view, with “see the view from the other side” functionality. This enables a reader to compare different views on the same story from different sides of the political spectrum.

Blews could be highly useful in informing political perspectives. It could be the first in a number of increasingly advanced aggregators with the ability to determine the ideological basis of news stories, and sort them on that basis. Or it could flop. What do you think?

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