In a development that could titillate political partisans of all stripes, a new Web application promising to spot bias in news stories will launch on Monday, Sept. 8, just as this ferociously contested election season shifts into high gear.
A beta version of SpinSpotter, initially accessible only through the Firefox browser, goes live at spinspotter.com on Sept. 8, as does a downloadable toolbar application the company call Spinoculars. When turned on in a user's Web browser's toolbar, Spinoculars scans Web pages and spots certain potential indicators of bias. The toolbar also will allow its users to flag phrases in news stories and opine on those called out by other Spinspotter users. The application's algorithms work off six key tenets of spin and bias, which the company derived from both the guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists' Code Of Ethics and input from an advisory board composed of journalism luminaries.
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