Sources Bot

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About

Sources Bot is a peice of software built to find similar news articles across a variety of sources. The hope is that through providing this resource I can help reduce the effect of online echochambers.

How it Works

Sources Bot works by tagging nouns and verbs in article titles and descriptions and searching for similar documents across a database of tagged articles.

For example the BBC ran a story titled: "Mexico police sent to meet migrant caravan" with the subtitle: "The move follows President Trump's threat to close the US-Mexico border and cut aid." This story then got tagged for organizations, people, places, things, and actions resulting in the following output:

{
  "actions": [
    "send",
    "meet",
    "follow",
    "close",
    "cut"
  ],
  "organizations": [],
  "places": [
    "US Mexico border"
  ],
  "people": [
    "Mexico police",
    "Trump",
    "President"
  ],
  "things": [
    "caravan",
    "move",
    "threat",
    "aid"
  ]
}

The system then searches for other documents with these tags and the results are returned.

Caviats

Small Database

This system could do with more data from a wider variety of sources. As of this writing it only contains 14,818 stories spread accross less than 60 days.

The Importance of Fact

While understanding different political opinions is increasingly important in today's political climate, so are responsible reporting and factual accuracy. This means not only ensuring the factual accuracy of news articles but also in some cases opinion peices. In order to ensure I am responsibly desseminating information I will not promote or suggest sources that: As a side effect of this Sources Bot does not suggest the following news sources:
Outlet Rational
Fox News Poor oversite of online content including extremist content
Questioning Climate Change. (For example: John Stossel: Of course climate change is real! Climate changes -- it always has and always will)
RT Misleading viewers. (See Ofcom citation for The Truthseeker: Media ‘Staged’ Syria Chem Attack)
Breitbart False Claims about climate change
Infowars Demonstrably false accusations about the Sandy Hook shooting.
In addition to these sites I also try to avoid outlets arguably producing propaganda (for example: The People's Daily, Voice of America, and Sputnik) but as of right now I do not have a consistant policy on this issue.

Closed Access News Sites

Some other sites are not searched by Sources Bot simply because their pricing models render them inaccessable to many people intereseted in broadening their media consumption. For this reason I do not provide links to the Wall Street Journal. This is not to say that you should not read the Wall Street Journal. The Journal is a great publication if you wish to better understand American conservative views. If the Wall Street Journal changes its policies to be more friendly to new or occasional readers I will reverse this decision.