Sidelines: An Algorithm for Increasing Diversity in News and Opinion Aggregators

AAAI Conferences

Aggregators rely on votes, and links to select and present subsets of the large quantity of news and opinion items generated each day. Opinion and topic diversity in the output sets can provide individual and societal benefits, but simply selecting the most popular items may not yield as much diversity as is present in the overall pool of votes and links. In this paper, we define three diversity metrics that address different dimensions of diversity: inclusion, non-alienation, and proportional representation. We then present the Sidelines algorithm – which temporarily suppresses a voter’s preferences after a preferred item has been selected – as one approach to increase the diversity of result sets. In comparison to collections of the most popular items, from user votes on and links from a panel of political blogs, the Sidelines algorithm increased inclusion while decreasing alienation. For the blog links, a set with known political preferences, we also found that Sidelines improved proportional representation. In an online experiment using blog link data as votes, readers were more likely to find something challenging to their views in the Sidelines result sets. These findings can help build news and opinion aggregators that present users with a broader range of topics and opinions.

Why does Google think Obama is planning a coup d'etat?


Peter Shulman, an associate history professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, was lecturing on the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s when a student asked an odd question: Was President Warren Harding a member of the KKK? He confessed that he was not aware of that allegation, but that Harding had been in favor of anti-lynching legislation, so it seemed unlikely. But then a second student pulled out his phone and announced that yes, Harding had been a Klan member, and so had four other presidents. For most of its history, Google did not answer questions. Users typed in what they were looking for and got a list of web pages that might contain the desired information.

EU Presses Tech Firms on Search Results, Fake News WSJD - Technology

Ahead of European Parliament elections in 2019, the commission also urged platforms to do more to halt the spread of disinformation or "fake news," on their sites, or face possible regulation. It asked web platforms to draw up a voluntary code of conduct by July with the aim of seeing changes by October. It said the EU was first pursuing industry self-regulation, but if that fails it would explore other options "including regulatory ones targeted at a few platforms." Some EU countries, including France, are already considering legislation in the area. Separately, the EU's three legislative bodies agreed to the final version of new rules that allow countries to force Netflix Inc. and other online-video providers to help finance Europe-made films.

'Meghan Markle' most googled person in UK in 2018

BBC News

But the Duchess of Sussex came second to the overall winner of the most queried term - "World Cup" - in the company's search trends review for 2018. "Royal wedding" and "royal baby" were the top two news event trends. The duchess announced her first pregnancy in October while on tour with Prince Harry in Australia. Of course, there were two royal weddings this year: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May; and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in October, which may have added to the overall figures. "Roxanne Pallett" the former Emmerdale actor who courted controversy on Celebrity Big Brother after accusing housemate Ryan Thomas of punching her, came second in most-searched-for celebrities.

Google also gets fooled into promoting fake election news

Los Angeles Times

Google's search engine highlighted an inaccurate story claiming that President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote in last week's election, the latest example of bogus information spread by the Internet's gatekeepers. Even as that story continued appearing high up in its search results, however, Google announced a move to punish purveyors of fake news. The incorrect election results were shown Monday in a 2-day-old story posted on the pro-Trump website 70 News. A link to the site appeared at or near the top of Google's influential rankings of relevant news stories for searches on the final election results. Google acknowledged that its search engine misfired.