Academic study finds Google refers news searches to small selection of news publishers, and favors left leaning over right leaning outlets

Academic study finds Google refers news searches to small selection of news publishers, and favors left leaning over right leaning outlets

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From the Columbia Journalism Review:

Prior research has shown that search engines can affect users’ attitudes, shape opinions, alter perceptions and reinforce stereotypes, as well as affect how voters come to be informed during elections. As such, media diversity is an important aspect to the way that Google—or any news aggregator—curates sources and perspectives.

….

Our data shows that 62.4 percent of article impressions were from sources rated by that research as left-leaning, whereas 11.3 percent were from sources rated as right-leaning. 26.3 percent of impressions were from news sources that didn’t have ratings.

Source: Audit suggests Google favors a small number of major outlets – Columbia Journalism Review

Their study also found that more news stories are left leaning, and therefore, not surprising that Google references such stories more, but after taking that into account, they found Google referred left leaning sources 50% more than would be expected.

They also found that Google’s article selection algorithm is biased towards very recently published items. They way to get recommended by Google news searches is to post items frequently.

This illustrates another way that social media corporations exert their influence via online propaganda – by selectively steering users to chosen content.

The original study:

CHI ’19 Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paper No. 453

Glasgow, Scotland Uk — May 04 – 09, 2019
ACM New York, NY, USA ©2019
table of contents ISBN: 978-1-4503-5970-2 doi>10.1145/3290605.3300683

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