The 2016 election forced us to recognize that the media can greatly shape our beliefs and lead us to reflect upon how social media is creating isolating chambers of news, where we are fed news that confirm our opinions, instead of challenging them. For our Senior Design project, our team has built an analytical tool that uses Wikipedia articles to provide users with a wide variety of news sources and unbiased factual information on topics that are trending around the world.
Our tool is built on Wikipedia article page view data on an hourly basis. By extracting the top viewed articles every hour and pulling in a wide variety of news sources, our tool offers users an outlet which not only provides them with factual information on Wikipedia, but also provides them with new sources of varying perspectives. In addition to providing associated news articles, we offer data visualization capabilities that show users the popularity of topics over a period of time, allowing them to understand topics in context.
WikiTrends differentiates itself from what is currently available online in three essential ways. First, WikiTrends provides top trending articles worldwide, not personalized to individual users. Second, WikiTrends is based on Wikipedia articles, which are written as factual information. Third, WikiTrends follows Wikipedia’s not-for-profit mission of empowering and educating people around the world under “to collect and develop educational content under a free license.”