Saturday, 12 December 2015

A new target for Newscorp columnists? Adding Google to the Fairfax and ABC list?

It's only a matter of time. Get ready for Google to be added to the list of biased lefties when it comes to reporting politics.
The US website Slate on 1 December analysed search results and found "Google is not fair; it favors some candidates, and it opposes others. And so far, it seems to prefer Democrats."
Slate's article Why Google Search Results Favor Democrats says its crowdsourced analysis of Google search results on Dec. 1 for the names of 16 presidential candidates revealed that Democrats fared better than Republicans when it came to supportive and positive sites within the first page of results. Democrats had, on average, seven favorable search results in those top 10, whereas GOP candidates had only 5.9.
Our data was collected by automatically gathering nonpersonalized search results from Google for each candidate’s full name, focusing on the top 10 result links and excluding advertisements. The first page of results is important because that’s where users end up clicking 7 out of 10 times. Next, we asked our crowdsourced raters to evaluate each website on two scales: one that measures its favorability toward a candidate and another to gauge its opposition to him or her. For each candidate, some websites are completely supportive, some are completely against, and some have a little bit of both. We validated the method against our own careful coding on a subset of data and found the crowdsource workers to be accurate. It’s worth saying that we collected results in D.C., but we know geography can affect nonpersonalized search results, so we’ll be looking to collect results in other parts of the country in the future to see how they vary.

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