Personal news app, OneSub, set to break the echo chamber

The Bath-based company wants to combat the onslaught of fake news using tech
14th June 2019

OneSub’s sole ambition is to give its readers a more balanced view of the world around us.

It’s doing this through combating the notorious media echo chambers that we all exist in – this is the concept that we receive a polarised perspective of the news based on our clicks and engagement across our internet use.

Innate biases exist in us all; it’s no surprise media outlets fail to be completely impartial. So, OneSub has decided to bring in a different type of team member – intelligent technology.

False facts

The idea is that OneSub can simultaneously filter out the dreaded fake news whilst recommending you a balanced mixture of stories and articles to read. This second aspect is a crucial step to bursting our personal bubbles, fill in prevalent knowledge gaps and shrink biases.

Jim Morrison (pictured left) is the brains behind OneSub, as well as the founder of the Bath-based digital specialists Deep Blue Sky. He explains the premise behind OneSub, “We live our online lives in an echo chamber, either sourcing news from preferred publications or via Google/social media.”

This means algorithms dictate our intake. What news we digest, and therefore the options we go on to form, is not always representative of the bigger picture. And trying to push past this threshold is not an easy feat.

Jim says that this effect is then worsened by the dominance of fake news. He expands, “A side effect of the growth of social media and one of the greatest threats to democracy and free debate. Basically, we’re stuck in a digital feedback loop – reflecting our own bias.”

Make the media great again

OneSub aims to kickstart things in order to restore faith in the mainstream media. Their own platform will enable users to discover and share news which monitors publication bias and provides consumers with alternative perspectives.

You can get your hands on the beta version now from app stores but watch this space for a commercialised addition to arrive later this year.

Jim explains how thoroughly thought out this new tool will be, “By passing on a proportion of our subscription charge we will eliminate newspapers’ need to stoop to advertising click-bait or hide behind paywalls – further establishing OneSub as THE rational, trusted global news service.”

So how does it all actually work? The system utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse and then understand thousands of articles a day from British and International newspapers.

Jim explains, “By analysing each article in detail (over 150,000 topics) and collating into stories, OneSub helps readers understand differing publisher opinion (a sliding scale from red to green) on today’s top news streams.”

What you read will be monitored – but with good intentions this time, we promise. OneSub analyses this specific data to offer you instant access to alternative viewpoints as well as a quick catch up service to update you on popular stories since you were last active.

And he believes this is a demand of the people, “The market is ready for a new way of consuming news and OneSub is unique because it’s modelled on quality of engagement rather than quantity of clicks. Our AI model also makes it practical to automate the platform at scale.”

You can download the OneSub beta app today. After a series of crowdfunding, the team hope to launch a completed addition this Autumn!