Watch The Political Spin Machine With Google "In Quotes"

Google has just opened a new Labs project, called In Quotes, to the public. The site allows users to compare quotes from various political figures, displaying key excerpts from speeches and interviews that they’ve given recently.

By default the site is presenting quotes from US Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, contrasting the things they’ve said on such issues as Iraq, marriage, abortion, and the economy. Users can click a “Spin” button to compare two randomly chosen quotes, or they can choose to cycle through them manually. All quotes are pulled from Google News stories that have appeared in the last few weeks. There are 20 political figures available in the United States version of the site, with other editions available for Canada, India, and the UK.

The site’s About page explains that the quotes are meant to reflect an unbiased view of the news, casting aside the analysis that is present in most reporting. This may be true, but the site doesn’t seem to be utilizing any algorithms to determine how each keyword is used – some of the “quotes” are paraphrased, while others are being attributed to someone who didn’t say them in the first place.

In any case, it’s still fun to play around with your own keywords. I’m partial to “lipstick”.