Definition of Bias & Indicators
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines bias as the following:
An inclination of temperament outlook; especially: a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment. Synonym: prejudice
Why should we check the bias of information on a webpage and/or website?
Bias is when a statement reflects a preference or prejudice for or against a person, object, or idea. It occurs when a writer or speaker utilizes a selection of facts, choice of words, and the quality and tone of description, to convey a particular feeling or attitude. Biased information tries to influence or change how you think.
Knowing how to identify & analyze biased information properly is a skill. You should expect bias on webpages that are designed to sell you something. In addition, webpages dedicated to controversial topics are likely to have a bias.
Questions to keep in mind as you seek indicators of bias:
- What is the author's political point of view?
- What does the author stand to gain?
- Who is paying for the website?
- Does the author present alternate points of view?
- If so, are those views presented objectively?