Auditing news curation systems: A case study examining algorithmic and editorial logic in Apple news

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This work presents an audit study of Apple News as a sociotechnical news curation system that exercises gatekeeping power in the media. We examine the mechanisms behind Apple News as well as the content presented in the app, outlining the social, political, and economic implications of both aspects. We focus on the Trending Stories section, which is algorithmically curated, and the Top Stories section, which is human-curated. Results from a crowdsourced audit showed minimal content personalization in the Trending Stories section, and a sock-puppet audit showed no locationbased content adaptation. Finally, we perform an extended two-month data collection to compare the human-curated Top Stories section with the algorithmically-curated Trending Stories section. Within these two sections, human curation outperformed algorithmic curation in several measures of source diversity, concentration, and evenness. Furthermore, algorithmic curation featured more "soft news"about celebrities and entertainment, while editorial curation featured more news about policy and international events. To our knowledge, this study provides the first data-backed characterization of Apple News in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020
PublisherAAAI Press
Pages36-47
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357889
StatePublished - 2020
Event14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020 - Atlanta, Virtual, United States
Duration: Jun 8 2020Jun 11 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020

Conference

Conference14th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, Virtual
Period6/8/206/11/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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