FAQ

Getting Started

What is the Nobias extension and where is it available?

Nobias is a free browser extension that automatically finds and applies bias and credibility insights in your newsfeed for over 60,000 news sites. We also instantly find better articles from credible authors and sources and offer Nobias History to help you track your reading habits so you can better manage your profile.

Nobias is available for download on the Chrome Store and the Firefox Store. We're adding more features soon, so stay tuned!

How can I install Nobias?

You can add the Nobias extension to your browser from the top right hand corner of our website!

Add Nobias to Chrome:

Add Nobias to Firefox

add_nobias_popup.jpg

Does Nobias "read and change your data on a number of websites"? Does Nobias "read and change your browsing history"?

Nobias reads and changes your data on certain websites by placing our pawprints next to the articles you see. In order to do that we read in your link and change how it appears to you on the screen on a number of websites (to see list see answer to "Which are the "select" newspapers where the Nobias extension inserts pawprints?"). We do not either change your link or any information in your link. Nor do we save any of your information.

Nobias provides the bias and credibility of your past reading behavior. In order to do that, we read in your relevant browsing history. Nobias does not edit or change any of your browser history.

How do I know if Nobias is working?

When you perform a Google search, Nobias will decorate your results page with Spot's little pawprints next to news articles. Hover over the pawprints to access immediate insights about the political slant and credibility of an article before you even click on it.

What do the different dog paw colors mean?

Purple = Likely Center

Blue = Likely Leans Left

Red = Likely Leans Right

Grey = Leans Unknown

You can find more detailed information on the rating of political slant on our criteria page.

How do I sign up for my Nobias history report?

Nobias offers Nobias History to help you track your reading habits so you can better manage your profile. However, to see your history, In the tool bar when you click on the nobias icon, the pop-up has two tabs (1) Insights and (2) History. To see your browser history bias, you can sign up using:

1) Google login

2) Facebook login

3) Create an account with your email address and a password

How do I interpret my history report?

The Nobias extension history report shows you a bias report as well as a credibility report, showing you the media slant and as well as the credibility of articles you’ve been reading in the past week.

Does Nobias work on mobile devices?

Unfortunately, the Nobias extension doesn’t work on mobile devices since most mobile browsers do not allow extensions to run.

Which are the "select" newspapers where the Nobias extension inserts pawprints?

You’ll be able to see the bias and credibility of articles directly in your Google and Facebook feed, and within the news sites of the following select national and regional newspapers: Please note that the bias rating is based on the language in the article itself, not on the news site it is on; there may be left-leaning articles on sites that typically lean right and vice versa. The following news sites have Nobias pawprints. If a site you like to read news is not here please let us know and we will add it.

  • bostonherald.com
  • breitbart.com
  • chicagopublicsquare.com
  • dallasnews.com
  • foxnews.com
  • news.yahoo.com
  • newsday.com
  • nextdraft.com
  • nydailynews.com
  • nypost.com
  • realclearpolitics.com
  • reddit.com
  • startribune.com
  • statesman.com
  • tampabay.com
  • techcrunch.com
  • theskimm.com
  • vox.com
  • washingtonpost.com
  • washingtontimes.com
  • wsj.com
  • news.google.com
  • cnn.com
  • nytimes.com

I really like Nobias. How can I help?

  • Interact with it regularly. the more they do, the more they will get out of it.
  • Share the Nobias Browser extension with a friend. If you're interested in joining the testing panel - feel free to reach out at hello@nobias.com.
  • Leave us a review in the Chrome Web Store or Firefox Web Store.
  • Tell your school or local library about Nobias and our mission, so they can add it to their computers for everyone to benefit.
  • Share the Nobias with your friends on Facebook and Twitter (you can use the social share buttons below).

How do you rate the credibility of an article?

Nobias uses editorial ratings generated by LexisNexis. These editorial ranks are applied to news sources and employers of journalists. It is a source-level categorization indicating LexisNexis' editorial ranking of the source. You can find more detailed information on our criteria page.

How is the media slant of an article rated?

It is difficult to exactly identify the bias of a news source as there is no comparable observed metric of left versus right leaning. In the absence of such a metric, we use the published methodology of Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro’s in Econometrica (2010), a top economics journal (henceforth Gentzkow et al) to identify the leaning of a news source. You can find more detailed information on our criteria page.

What does it mean if there is no paw next to an article?

If you can’t find a paw print next to an article, it means that it’s not registered in our database yet. We are constantly adding to our source and author list as we expand to non-US Sources that report on US political news.

What’s the purpose of rating credibility and slant? What’s the biggest benefit?

The biggest benefit of knowing an article’s political slant and credibility is to be in control of what you want to consume and how you want to train your algorithm. For example, if you’re looking to create a democratic and credible newsfeed for yourself, click mostly on left leaning and center labeled articles which are rated as highly credible or _very credibl_e. On the other hand, if you’d like to have a rather republican but still credible newsfeed, click mostly on right leaning and center labeled articles which are rated as highly credible or very credible. Understand that your behavior online influences the content that’s presented to you in the future.

What does it mean when the paw has the color grey?

If the paw has the color grey, it means the political leaning of the article or author is unknown or not yet added to our database.

What if I click on a red article? Am I not supposed to do that?

Nobias’ mission is to help you understand the landscape of media bias and credibility in online news and to give you the power over the algorithms that shape what you read online. That means, Nobias shows you how biased and credible certain media outlets and articles are but it’s totally up to you what information you choose to consume. Just beware that your algorithm picks up on your behavior and will present you with similar content in the future, so shape your filter bubble responsibly.

How does it help me to see the slant of an article before I click on it?

Since 2009, Google has been customizing users’ search results for marketing purposes, which not only influence consumers’ purchase decisions but also shape their virtual realities. Using AI algorithms, websites are being tailored to each individual, giving them a unique online experience, a personalized universe of information. Each consumer’s online experience is shaping itself exponentially through every click, article, and video until they’ve created their own personal online reality. Nobias reveals the article’s biases and its credibility before you read the article, giving you back control over your online reality.

What if I keep clicking on the same colored articles, blue or red?

By continuously clicking and consuming the same colored content, the AI algorithms of Google, Facebook and other aggregators of news will ultimately only offer you the same kind of articles, for example only right leaning, or allowing more and more content of unknown credibility. In order to have a healthy and well-balanced newsfeed, you want to consider looking at news from multiple perspectives by reading articles on both sides of the aisle and that are known to be credible.

 
 

Support

 

I already downloaded the Chrome extension but I noticed it is not the latest version of Nobias. How can I solve this issue?

If you have already downloaded Nobias your Chrome browser may take up to 36 hours to automatically update the extension to the latest version. Alternatively, you can update your extension manually (at Chrome Extensions Tab, enable Developer Mode and update all extensions) or reinstall the Nobias extension.

 
 

Account Questions

 

Why do you ask for Facebook and Google authentication?

Authentication helps us make sure that real people are signing up. Facebook and Google authentication are provided as most of our customers find it convenient to authenticate this way. We only request your name, email, and username from Facebook or Google, so we can't see any other information you have on your Facebook or Google profiles.

 
 

General Questions

 

Is Nobias non-partisan?

Nobias was started in 2017 by Tania Ahuja due to her concern that people were unaware of the pitfalls of personalization algorithms. While personalization algorithms save time and are necessary. especially today with millions of articles being produced daily; it is really important to control our interaction with them and consume information wisely so that the algorithm understands that you wish to get credible balanced information and not just one-sided or click bait. We're especially careful to be a non-partisan organization – we have programmers and content writers from both sides of the aisle. This wasn't an initiative from a political organization, just people who care about being making sure that everyone is able to access a balanced diet of information so they can make their own choices.

What do the colors of the dog’s paw mean?

Purple = Likely Center

Blue = Likely Leans Left

Red = Likely Leans Right

Grey = Leans Unknown

You can find more detailed information on the rating of political slant on our criteria page.

What does it mean if there is no paw next to an article?

If you can’t find a paw print next to an article, it means that it’s not registered in our database yet. We are constantly adding to our source and author list as we expand to non-US Sources that report on US political news.

What does it mean when the paw has the color grey?

If the paw has the color grey, it means the political leaning of the article or author is unknown or not yet added to our database.

I already downloaded the Chrome extension but I noticed it is not the latest version of Nobias. How can I solve this issue?

If you have already downloaded Nobias your Chrome browser may take up to 36 hours to automatically update the extension to the latest version. Alternatively, you can update your extension manually (at Chrome Extensions Tab, enable Developer Mode and update all extensions) or reinstall the Nobias extension.

Why do you ask for Facebook and Google authentication?

Authentication helps us make sure that real people are signing up. Facebook and Google authentication are provided as most of our customers find it convenient to authenticate this way. We only request your name, email, and username from Facebook or Google, so we can't see any other information you have on your Facebook or Google profiles.