Recommenders with a Mission

Sanne Vrijenhoek, Mesut Kaya, Nadia Metoui, Judith Möller, Daan Odijk, Natali Helberger
2021 Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval  
News recommenders help users to find relevant online content and have the potential to fulfill a crucial role in a democratic society, directing the scarce attention of citizens towards the information that is most important to them. Simultaneously, recent concerns about so-called filter bubbles, misinformation and selective exposure are symptomatic of the disruptive potential of these digital news recommenders. Recommender systems can make or break filter bubbles, and as such can be
more » ... l in creating either a more closed or a more open internet. Current approaches to evaluating recommender systems are often focused on measuring an increase in user clicks and short-term engagement, rather than measuring the user's longer term interest in diverse and important information. This paper aims to bridge the gap between normative notions of diversity, rooted in democratic theory, and quantitative metrics necessary for evaluating the recommender system. We propose a set of metrics grounded in social science interpretations of diversity and suggest ways for practical implementations.
doi:10.1145/3406522.3446019 fatcat:cip5yax3yvcjtkbrbhf47knzke