Do you have an app or extension?
A few partners and friends have created apps using our media bias ratings. Bias Finder is a great Google Chrome extension that uses AllSides bias ratings. When you’re visiting a news site, Bias Finder will immediately show you its AllSides Media Bias Rating. Capitol Call is a mobile app that allows you to customize a news feed using sources rated by AllSides.
We are considering creating our own apps and extensions. Consider donating to AllSides to help make our own apps and extensions a reality.
Bias Finder — Find the bias of any news site you go to.
Capitol Call — Available for both iOs and Android, Capitol Call allows you to contact your representatives and other elected officials with one tap. The app also allows you to customize a news feed using our rated sources, helping you to make sure you’re maintaining a balanced feed.
Send us feedback if you have any suggestions or feature requests.
I think AllSides is biased.
Everyone is biased. We have developed a patented system for identifying bias so that we can transparently reveal and balance bias. Though it is not perfect, it is the best and most transparent system we know. For more on this, read our Editorial Philosophy.
AllSides also has a multi-partisan staff to further ensure fair balance. Whenever we write a blog or newsletter, we review it as a team, not just for grammar and spelling, but more importantly for bias. We want to make sure we are providing a platform for balanced news that is not influenced by our individual biases. When we review sources, we don’t change the rating just because one of our Editors thinks the source leans a little too much in one direction. We have a systematic way of analyzing them — read about our media bias rating methods.
When you see something from us that seems unbalanced or incorrect, please tell us about it. We are always improving our systems.
Why do you only have American news sources?
At this time, AllSides only focuses on American sources, but we would love to eventually expand to include more international sources as well. Our initial bias rating scale is based on American politics and we are a team of (mostly) Americans who do not have much experience with international politics. We hope to eventually expand our team and knowledge base to be more inclusive of other nations.
There are several ways we calculate the AllSides Bias Rating or ABR. We use blind bias surveys, editorial reviews, third party research (such as the 2005 UCLA study), our own independent research, and community votes. To learn more about our in-depth process, check out our Media Bias Rating Methods.
We assign ratings across the bias scale not only to expose bias, but most importantly, to free people from their filter bubbles so they can be better informed and truly make decisions for themselves free of manipulation. (See the TED talk by AllSides’ CEO John Gable and Living Room Conversations’ Joan Blades, Breaking Through Filter Bubbles with Technology and Civil Discourse, for more.)
Finally, read about the importance of a balanced news diet vs “unbiased news,” in John Gable’s blog.
Our system is more sophisticated than that. We use the community votes as an “early warning system.” Our ratings don’t change based on community input alone. A member of our team has to physically edit the rating of a source for it to change. If bots flooded a page and overwhelmingly voted to have a Left source be rated as Right, we are merely alerted to the fact that we may need to re-approach our rating for that source.
We also don’t change the rating based on votes alone. Community voting shows us what ratings we should update. It prompts us to review that source using a blind bias quiz, editorial review, and/or independent research.
Lastly, please note our ratings are normalized to reflect the entire nation rather than any specific group.
We look more closely at a news source when we get new data or feedback from the community that our media bias rating for a source might be wrong. We take suggestions from our community in several ways. People directly email to us or send suggestions via our Facebook and Twitter. Of course, we also check to see what the community is voting on and if their votes differ significantly from our ratings. As a team, we also keep our eyes out for new sources, missing sources, or sources where we see a shift in bias.
The headline roundups at the top of our homepage rotate the order in which we display precisely to avoid that kind of bias. But in some cases, we found it could be confusing to users if we rotate the order. For example, on the home page viewed on a desktop, additional stories in columns at the bottom of the page list Left stories on the left, Center stories in the center and Right stories on the right side of the screen. On mobile, the columns are replaced by buttons arranged on top of one another so Left stories are shown on the top, Center in the middle and Right stories are towards the bottom.
Why is the order of the "headline roundups" at the top of the news page always mixed up?
We rotate the order of the Left, Right and Center stories for our headline roundups to avoid biasing our coverage in favor of the Left, which otherwise would always be listed first. Plus, the image we show is from the physically leftmost story, and we don't want to create bias by always showing an image from the article with a Left bias. As we're sure you know since you use AllSides, images can have bias, just like headlines and descriptions. If a journalist wanted to emphasize the negative aspects of a politician, they might choose an image that makes them look bad or angry, which further adds to the bias of an article. By rotating the order of our articles, we also rotate the image we highlight in an effort to mediate bias.