Who we are
The Blindspotter was created by the team at Ground News. Ground News is a news comparison platform that was created to improve our broken media ecosystem, by abstaining from manipulative algorithms and giving you more control over the news you read.
Our mobile app, web app and browser extension are home to 250,000 mindful newsreaders who use our news comparison platform to easily access the full story and engage with news beyond their filter bubble. Decidedly apolitical, our community is home to people from across the political spectrum, no small feat in an increasingly divided world. You can access our mobile and web app here.
Ground News is run by a team of seven industry outsiders and is not affiliated with any corporate media/technology companies. Most of the company is owned by the team and the majority of our funding comes from paid subscribers. To learn more about us, visit our about and testimonials page. Or join the conversation on Reddit and visit r/groundnews
For press/other inquiries, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why we created the Blindspotter
Reddit is comprised of thousands of communities dedicated to a wide variety of topics. These groups are great for meeting like minded people, but are often bad for seeing other sides of an issue. This makes subreddits, especially political ones, susceptible to groupthink. The Reddit Blindspotter allows users to easily visualize the news bubble of subreddits, enabling users to see if multiple viewpoints are being shared, or if perspectives from only one side dominates the subreddit discourse.
By analyzing both the distribution of articles and upvotes, the blindspotter enables users to see which political ideology is being shared and supported in any subreddit. If the skew of the two distributions vary significantly, it could be an indicator that sub could be biased towards one political ideology.
What the tool does not tell you
The data generated by the tool should not be interpreted as exactly representative of a subreddits political ideology. A skewed news diet may inform a groups political beliefs, but it is not the only determinant. A subreddit with partisan views may have a balanced news diet and hold those views for different reasons.
Limitations of the tool
I have a news blindspot - now what?
greater understanding of their perspective and foster better conversations about society’s most important issues.
Here are some steps to take to start checking your news blindspot and adopt a balanced news diet:
Awareness - Realize you’re in a bubble
Unless you make a concerted effort to keep social media algorithms guessing, you are likely enveloped in a filter bubble. Whether your algorithmically curated feed leans left or right, you are likely absorbing opinions with one specific ideological bent. Let's change that.
Analyze - Examine where your news comes from
Take a deeper look at the news sources that you are consuming? Do they all have a similar underlying narrative? Are most of them owned by one mega-corporation?
Corporate biases and political biases have an influence on the news that is reported - and the news that isn’t. Be wary of sources that conceal their biases and instead purport themselves as the sole arbiter of truth.
Action - Pop your filter bubble
The best way to burst your filter bubble is to read news from perspectives you typically avoid. If you identify as a liberal, read news from right-leaning publications. If you identify as conservative, read news from left-leaning publications. This is far more time-consuming than simply browsing your Twitter or Facebook feed, so we created the Ground News app to make it easier to read the news from a variety of perspectives and get the full picture.
Then Reddit Blindspotter can only access reddit data that is publicly available (accessed via Pushshift). It can not read the data of private subreddits or personal accounts.
In order to pull the data, the tool parses through a subreddits history and analyzes posts with news content that have a bias rating. Our database contains 2063 news sources with bias ratings, which includes 878 left-leaning sources, 571 right-leaning sources and 614 that are centrist. The Blindspotter currently uses data from articles that were posted anytime from Jan 1st 2020 to March 15th, 2021.