Now, ‘Dispute Finder’ to give you two sides of a news story

June 20th, 2009 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 20 (ANI): Just like there are two sides to the same coin, a new Internet tool is now here to give you two sides of the same news story.

Well, Dispute Finder is a web tool that highlights disputed text on a web page, and offers links to other sites with a different perspective.

It is a Firefox browser add-on that has been designed and built by Rob Ennals and colleagues at Intel Research in Berkeley, in collaboration with computer scientists at the University of California in Berkeley.

“For subjects like science there’s lots of misinformation around,” New Scientist magazine quoted Ennals as saying.

However, it’s not always obvious to the web user which statements they read online are accepted by all sides and which are contentious.

“That’s what our new Dispute Finder is for. We’ll let you know that there’s another side to the story,” said Ennals.

After being installed, Dispute Finder allows users to flag up controversial statements and suggests links to other sites that dispute the claim.

Then, other users that visit the page can vote up the dispute if they think it’s valid, or vote it down if they think the evidence is weak.

That could help web users gain a more complete picture of complicated issues.

“If I look at a news story that says the recent Iranian election was rigged, I’m interested to know whether there’s a reputable source out there that disputes this, whether there are a substantial number of people that disagree with this, and what evidence they use to support their point of view,” said Ennals.

The researchers are looking forward to add extra levels of sophistication to future versions of the add-on.

If the software proves successful, the research team plan to build an automated system that will check news stories for previously highlighted disputed claims as soon as they are published online.

Ennals has suggested that the same system could then break free from the web and be used to highlight disputed claims in television closed captioning. (ANI)

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