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It’s not a secret that Google has massive influence in directing internet traffic, but it is a secret how Google’s algorithms decide which news content to display.
To find out more about Google’s impact on news media, Northwestern University Professor Nicholas Diakopoulos and Northwestern student Daniel Trielli undertook an audit study of Google’s “Top Stories” box.
Top - Stories - Google - Results - Queries
“To audit Top Stories, we scraped Google results for more than 200 queries related to news events in November, 2017,” Diakopoulos explained in an article for Columbia Journalism Review.
“We selected the queries to test by looking at Google Trends every day and manually choosing terms related to hard news events.”
Diakopoulos - News - Outlets - Percent - Results
Diakopoulos found that three news outlets accounted for 23 percent of all results.
Using an earlier study that identified the ideological bent of news outlets based on who shares the content on Facebook, the professor found that left-leaning stories dominated the Top Stories results overall.
Data - Shows - Percent - Article - Impressions
“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,” Diakopoulos explained.
“But even if that last set of unknown impressions happened to be right-leaning, the trend would still be clear: A higher proportion of left-leaning sources appear in Top Stories.”
Government - Hold - Google
Should the government hold Google accountable?
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Why do democrats never have to face the reality of what's on the ground, like 2000 years of marriage.