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.
Yeah, sounds pretty Owellian and creepy to us. Makes our head spin. Our stomachs churn. But we’re not in the business of correcting spin. We’re in the business of making fun of it. Totally different animal.
So we talked to Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Media Matters, the progressive media watchdog based in Washington, DC. He said to FBLA, “This could prove to be an important tool for all those looking to hold the media accountable for failing to challenge the spin of those they report on. Now more than ever, the American people need to stand up and make sure the media hears their voice. Technology has leveled the playing field, allowing every day Americans to take action when they see flawed or misleading reports – the more tools people have at their disposal, the better.”
Oh and according to the BusinessWeek article, Jonah Goldberg is involved in it. That could make it boring and ineffective. Cough.