Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blue Feed, Red Feed

The Wall Street Journal produced Blue Feed, Red Feed. It shows “Recent posts from sources where the majority of shared articles aligned ‘very liberal’ (blue, on the left) and ‘very conservative’ (red, on the right) in a large Facebook study.”

If a news source appears in the left column, its links were frequently shared by Facebook users whom researchers classified as “very liberal,” based on self-described political leanings. In the right column are sources whose content was widely shared by Facebook users identified as “very conservative.”

The content is being pulled automatically from these sites’ public Facebook pages, once an hour using Facebook’s software developer tools (specifically, the Graph API).

We built this presentation because it’s hard to see these opposing views side by side. Facebook users who are curious about opposing viewpoints may be apprehensive about recording a like for a particular news source—an action which may be seen by other friends. (You can make likes private in Facebook user settings.) This tool gives people anywhere on the political spectrum the ability to see current discussions about newsworthy topics from both very conservative and very liberal viewpoints.

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