Blind Spot

Blind Spot

Organisation: Financial Times (United Kingdom)

Publication Date: 07/17/2014


** This project won the Editors Lab BBC Newshack ** You are missing out on news every day and we want to make sure that you don’t. The Blind Spot will alert you to news that you might otherwise miss. Our news audiences want a comprehensive view of global news and this tool helps you to identify where you and people in your social media sphere are missing out. We want to help people see opinions that differ from their own by creating an tool that will recommend articles that wouldn't otherwise come up in your newsfeed or recommendations. We want to counter confirmation bias, where you're more likely to read something from someone whose opinion is similar to yours or whose interest are the same as yours, with stories that make you nudge the person sitting next to you and say, "Hey, did you know…?" We want to help people get out of their filter bubble and read things that their friends aren't reading. The Blind Spot is presented as a simple list of articles. It will contain a mix of consciously and unconsciously excluded topics. To model the Blind Spot of a reader, we are starting with a list of what she should read and removing from it everything she has read or been exposed to. As a proxy for what she should read, we are using the list of most popular FT content over the last 7 days. We have a list of what our reader has in fact read over the last 7 days. And as a proxy for what she has been exposed to, we use her Twitter timeline, looking for all tweets of news articles. In this hackday proof of concept, we have restricted the collection of news articles to the Financial Times, but there is no reason why it should stop there. The same approach would apply just as well to BBC news articles. By surfacing these unseen topics, Blind Spot helps ensure the reader is given a comprehensive view of the news.
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