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Title: Search as News Curator: The Role of Google in Shaping Attention to News Information
This paper presents an algorithm audit of the Google Top Stories box, a prominent component of search engine results and powerful driver of traffic to news publishers. As such, it is important in shaping user attention towards news outlets and topics. By analyzing the number of appearances of news article links we contribute a series of novel analyses that provide an in-depth characterization of news source diversity and its implications for attention via Google search. We present results indicating a considerable degree of source concentration (with variation among search terms), a slight exaggeration in the ideological skew of news in comparison to a baseline, and a quantification of how the presentation of items translates into traffic and attention for publishers. We contribute insights that underscore the power that Google wields in exposing users to diverse news information, and raise important questions and opportunities for future work on algorithmic news curation.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 15
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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