This to me is phrenology 2.0 or something. Not only does this have absurd explicit shortfalls, like the fact that words like 'anarchist' can be derogatory or sympathetic purely depending on context on opposite sides of the spectrum, this completely ignores any nuance, sarcasm, or anything else that really reveals bias beyond the obvious.
I'd suggest sampling a thousand random people, having them rate everything on a spectrum and average it out, or consulting the title of the publication. Saves you the compute. We don't need ML to determine that the American Conservative, is surprisingly enough a right-wing publication
This problem is mentioned several times in the article, and several ways it manifests itself is discussed.
I'm focusing on it because of the implication spelled out at the end:
"Nonetheless, the MIT study seems to be the largest of its type to date, and could form the framework for future classification systems, and even secondary technologies such as browser plug-ins that might alert casual readers to the political color of the publication they are currently reading."
What's happening in that study is not science but alchemy, a gigantic problem in the field. Entire sectors are now infested with this stuff, see 'affective computing' for another offender.
So many false positives with ESL writers.
It is tautology.
The usual example is an hypothetical Wikipedia page starting with the sentence "Adolph Hitler was a soldier, a painter and a statesman". It's not wrong, but I wouldn't say it's a good summary either.
All I can think of is that using this data to judge biases could be defeated by a simple search-and-replace if anyone wanted to. But I doubt publishers cate enough about obscure papers calling them conservative to change their language. (If they do stop calling all foreigners “illegal aliens”, that’s would actually be quite the feat for a lowly department of semantics)
The issue here is a simple one, that in communication, language cannot be divorced from context. Laughing at a birthday party means you're having fun. Laughing at a funeral means you're distressed. Laughing itself has no meaning, and words themselves have no meaning. You don't 'pick up' signals, you interpret something as a signal within a frame of reference.
This methodology is right in every case where it is trivial, and thus unnecessary, it is likely wrong in every case where it matters. And that is an actively bad combination.
It is very possible to use non "charged" language, but still report a topic with a strong bias. For example, Slate is left leaning by most measures, but the below landscape chart from the study has them dead center. Maybe they are better at using neutral terms?
That's a bias that gets tugged around by the bias of extremes rather than the sensible. Sorry, I hate that term because it is often used to imply that you can average a wrong and a right and get something more correct. Often enough, one side is decently close to right on an issue and the other is pretty much wrong. Picking the center of that isn't more right.
Often the quest for "neutrality" is bunk. In flat-world vs round-world, the flat-world is not with equal standing but the "neutral" seeking would often present as if the flat-world idiots have a case. While issues may have some subjectivity, we should not constantly pretend that there's an even distribution.
A neutral language meter can't ever hope to be right. It's not an analysis of what's well supported. Rather it's an analysis of assertiveness. I'm very assertive about the world being fucking round. I'm a red flag for such a bias meters.
Sorry if I'm going off but--I'll just go a head and say it--that term triggers the fuck out of me for getting undeserved validity.
 On a per issue basis. This is not to imply that one side is more consistently correct across issues.
EDIT: from the paper "Our method locates newspapers into this
two-dimensional media bias landscape based only on how frequently they use certain discriminative phrases, with no human input regarding what constitutes bias. The colors and sizes of the dots were predetermined by external assessments and thus in no way influenced by our data. The positions of the dots thus suggest that the two dimensions can be interpreted as the traditional left-right bias axis and establishment bias, respectively"
EDIT: I am glad to see the summary here acknowledges and points out that it may have been intentional to obscure the labeling of these graphs as a method to avoid inflaming the media. If that is the case I think that's a bit short sighted on the part of the authors of the paper but it makes sense.
It is also interesting that there is no neutral term for this topic. Actually, now I’m using euphemisms. It’s not interesting, it’s disheartening.
I don't know if that's a correct categorization, but given that framing the relevant differences are not at all about one "descriptive" term and one "euphemistic" one.
So “asylum seekers” or “refugee” would be better, since I agree that they are not undocumented, either.
A person can be undocumented.
However, a person cannot be illegal - they can only commit illegal acts. I.e illegal immigration.
Language is flexible though and I understand what people mean with the term. I believe those on the left take issue with calling people illegal, out of fear of promoting xenophobia.
getting into the semantics is ridiculous in this situation. 1/3 girls let over that border are raped according to doctors without borders. every person walking over is part of the cartels human trafficking ring, but yeah let's worry about what we called it in our legal books.
xenophobia is not the moral issue here, it's fucking human trafficking.
> xenophobia is not the moral issue here
Unless you were selectively quoting parts of my sentences for another reason. You didn't exactly make a rebuttal.
Also, as of this year the Biden administration has asked ICE, CBP to stop using the term “illegal alien”.
noone will believe you care if you squabble over what to call someone while letting them be trafficked.
illegal alien is not offensive, stop trying to make a false debate so you don't have to discuss the real issue, the cartels.
Biden can ask ICE and CBP to use whatever words he wants, like that does something, they're just following the laws he helped write.
maybe he should have updated the immigration laws in his half a century as a senator.
I was pointing out how bias in the media in this topic always turns to a word debate not a debate on the issue.
Keep in mind YOU brought up xenophobia and not the cartels. You continued the semantics debate, but not the root issue.
And on your second point I take issue with the premise. Like I said earlier, I think our understanding of words have consequences, debating their meaning is debating the issue. However, is it the most fruitful and meaningful debate? Perhaps not.. but again, we are in a comment section about word usage in media bias - so that’s why I’m focusing on it.
Even if the word isn't offensive, and you have no idea how many find it as such, if any. That's the priority.
All pointless to solve the actual issue, but makes a great show and distracts people.
Unlike Biden, you had no power to change the immigration laws, so I don't hold anything against you.
But yes, this is about media bias and word usage. Let's just chalk semantic debates up as a tool used in that bias.
You're the one arguing about replacing legal terms and xenophobia while gloating that I may be "triggered" by what you're saying.
Complete nonsense wrapped up in words, while ignoring the real world issues. Read up on the border, ease up on the thesaurus. Cheers.
> if we used more compassionate language to refer to these people
Which implies a greater interest in the politics of the language vs. semantic precision/grammatical precision.
The "illegal" in the phrase "illegal immigrant" refers to their illegal immigration, not to the legality of their person-hood, as your comment would imply. "Undocumented" is an intentional dodge of the legality of the immigration action undertaken by the person (aka their immigration status). The more factual phrase has been made controversial by partisans.
And btw, cards on the table, I support an expanded, rational immigration policy that recognizes the critically important role immigrants play in the U.S. economy and, more generally, society. And one that encourages legality and punishes illegality.
MIT: Measuring Media Bias in Major News Outlets With Machine Learning
No, it's a goof due to time pressure. It's been corrected.
which is rather more useful than the existing one - I thought it was about bias in some way displayed via machine learning as in previous problematic cases.
Same as the article link.