Bing’s ‘Political Bias’ Filter Is Actually Pretty Interesting

Bing has decided to stop screwing around and do what other search engines won’t: Filter the news according to the perceived political bias the search engine spots. It was a feature that debuted on their Election 2012 page and it’s… curiously perceptive, to some degree.

The filter is fairly simple. Yank it to the left to read Democratic gloating over nothing changing, and yank it to the right to hear Republican teeth-gnashing over almost nothing changing, practically speaking, in the political landscape.

It seems like a gimmick, and it is, but it’s a fairly interesting gimmick. The top bar also features a pull down menu featuring various news sources ranging from Mother Jones to the networks to the Washington Times, so you can see what they’re saying, and check boxes that let you sort by swing states, leaning states, and other functions.

In many ways it turns up what’d you expect: The left-hand side is more likely to include the Daily Kos and the right hand side is more likely to include the Daily Caller. Sadly, the slider can’t be applied to specific news sources, which would have been hilarious. Also, the search could have been much more specific; often the same two or three articles will top the results regardless of where the slider is.

It’s a good idea, if basically implemented, and we hope it sticks around. After all, search engines are how we find the news, these days, and it’d be nice to see that they came in with a built-in B.S. detector.

Now if only Facebook could do us the same courtesy…