Visualizing Political Bias

Just saw a post from by Andy Baio entitled “Memeorandum Colors: Visualizing Political Bias with Greasemonkey“. Here’s a quick excerpt:

With the help of founder Joshua Schachter, we used a recommendation algorithm to score every blog on Memeorandum based on their linking activity in the last three months. Then I wrote a Greasemonkey script to pull that information out of Google Spreadsheets, and colorize Memeorandum on-the-fly. Left-leaning blogs are blue and right-leaning blogs are red, with darker colors representing strong biases.

To install it, you’ll need Firefox (not a problem for 61% of you, according to my analytics) and optionally the Greasemonkey extension:

After it’s installed, go to any page on Memeorandum and wait a second for the coloring to appear. For details of how they used Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to score the blogs, check out the post.

It’s a nice application, and it reminds me of a 2004 CIKM paper by Miles Efron entitled “The Liberal Media and Right-Wing Conspiracies: Using Cocitation Information to Estimate Political Orientation in Web Documents“.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

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