Project idea: annotating political bias in internet articles

Here’s an idea: a browser addon that injects bias annotations into articles you’re reading.

I’d like to see a program that can annotate proper nouns with their political biases, or at least their funding sources, in the articles I’m reading online. For example, if you run across

a recent study by the Cato Institute

the addon would annotate it like this:

a recent study by the (generally libertarian-leaning) Cato Institute

or if you found

the Brookings Institution found that

you would get

the Brookings Institution (receiving funding from the UAE and JP Morgan & Chase) found that

This would make it easier to weight research findings based on the biases that they’re expected to have.

Unfortunately, to make such a project work & be actually useful, we would have to identify those biases that affect the various think tanks, and this would be subject to the same issues that we already have - namely that we have blind spots when identifying our own biases. We could ostensibly crowd-source the bias identification in order to take advantage of the idea that most people won’t be in agreement with a given political position and will therefore be able to clearly see the bias. The funding source idea at least partially alleviates this since the political viewpoints of individuals are easier to pick out - even though in practice we’re just mapping the domain of think tanks to the domain of donors.

I’m not sure exactly how you’d source the required data (except for funding sources - they’re public), but I would like to see the result.