SEATTLE, WA, August 02, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — In response to political polarization, Seattle area high schoolers announced the release of a browser extension they created, Balanced Media, which allows users to find and rate news articles that include multiple perspectives on controversial issues.
Political polarization is a problem that has been increasing dramatically in recent years. According to the Pew Research Center, “Americans have rarely been as polarized as they are today.” (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/13/america-is-exception … al-divide/)
Appalled by this polarization and the violence that has come from it, these teens believe that a major cause of America’s growing division is the media. With online news becoming the norm, citizens have become more susceptible to echo chambers, which hinder the conversation and compromise necessary to heal our nation.
In response, high schoolers at Raisbeck Aviation High School learned 7 different programming languages to create a browser extension – Balanced Media. On initial setup, the extension asks what the user’s political bias is. Whenever a user reads a news article, a popup shows up that asks whether an article includes a user’s perspective. If an article includes perspectives of different political groups, it’s not one that’s meant to polarize, and the extension recommends the article to users. Over time, the system deduces the political bias of the user by how they rate articles.
CEO Caleb Hyun states, “Division is currently the biggest threat to our country. It stems from a lack of willingness to hear and understand each other, exacerbated by the echo-chamber incentives in the media ecosystem. Through Balanced Media, we are trying to disrupt this system and incentivize the media to provide balanced and nuanced perspectives.”
Learn more at https://www.balancedmedia.org.
Balanced Media is a multi-faceted news rating application, which includes a browser extension that allows users to find and rate articles that include multiple perspectives. Using all the data collected from the extension and user, the extension recommends articles that take the most balanced approach – articles that include perspectives from across the political spectrum. These articles help the user to consume a balanced media diet. Furthermore, it rewards news outlets for being more inclusive in their approach to promote understanding rather than peddling outrage. It’s similar to food in some ways – food packaging is required to have nutritional labels. Content should also have nutritional labels. Everyone knows that if you eat only one category of food it’s unhealthy. Balanced Media is that nutrition label. It’s unhealthy to fill your thoughts with only one perspective. Balanced Media’s feed helps people get the media nutrition they need and break free from the echo chamber of ignorance.
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