Three in 10 political blogs entirely one-sided: IPS research study

SINGAPORE - A new research study by the Institute of Policy Studies has found that three in 10 political blogs are completely one-sided in their commentaries.

That leaves seven in 10 that include alternative views, the study said.

It also found that blogs with high political content, regardless of partisanship, tend to be more objective, said IPS research fellows Tan Tarn How and Carol Soon, who conducted the study and presented their findings at a seminar on Wednesday.

Also, bloggers who put their name to their posts tend to be calmer, they said.

They also noticed that those who write about the Government tend to be against the Government, while those who mention the opposition are more positive towards the opposition.

The study, titled Rationality Of Political Online Space, looked at more than 1,000 posts on 197 blogs between June and July last year. It sought to examine the validity of views by critics of blogs and other online content who have dismissed them as a "Wild Wild West that is partisan, irrational and vitriolic".

News headlines during the period of study included the annual Pink Dot picnic, which had been met with a Wear White campaign against homosexuality; the National Library Board's decision to remove and pulp three children's books that referred to same-sex couples; and a defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against blogger Roy Ngerng.

Mr Tan and Dr Soon acknowledged several limitations to their research, which is just a "snapshot in time and space of a very large changing medium".

The study only covered blogs and not social media, while some known political blogs like Yawning Bread were not studied because there were no posts during that period, they added.

They also said that their future work will involve looking at how accurate a predictor online blogs and social media posts could be for surveys and election results.

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