Online Watchdog Sniffs for Media Bias: Richard Perez-Pena of the NYTimes reports SpinSpotter dot com just released a beta version of their new product, right now exclusively a Firefox plugin called SpinSpotter™. SpinSpotter automatically flags phrases in online articles that qualify as “spin”. The criteria includes lack of balance, reporter’s voice, passive voice, biased source, disregarded context, selective disclosures and inaccurate info.
SpinSpotter installs in seconds (134K). It only takes a minute to register a username for yourself. The flags appear as red highlighted text. SpinSpotter uses both a rating and a description system to add a human element to the automatic flag, Slashdot-style.
It’s hard enough to separate the wheat from the chaff when you read the daily news. Spinspotter won’t shout out “Propaganda!” but it will help you tell if the reporter is playing by the rules.