Via the site’s FAQ: “Hoaxy [Indiana University] visualizes the spread of claims and related fact checking online. A claim may be a fake news article, hoax, rumor, conspiracy theory, satire, or even an accurate report. Anyone can use Hoaxy to explore how claims spread across social media. You can select any matching fact-checking articles to observe how those spread as well.
Q: How does it work?A: We track the social sharing of links to stories published by two types of websites: (1) Independent fact-checking organizations, such as snopes.com, politifact.com, and factcheck.org, that routinely fact check unverified claims. (2) Sources that often publish inaccurate, unverified, or satirical claims according to lists compiled and published by reputable news and fact-checking organizations.
Q: What does the visualization show?A: Hoaxy visualizes two aspects of the spread of claims and fact checking: temporal trends and diffusion networks. Temporal trends plot the cumulative number of Twitter shares over time. The user can zoom in on any time interval. Diffusion networks display how claims spread from person to person. Each node is a Twitter account and two nodes are connected if a meme (link to a story) is passed between those two accounts via retweets, replies, quotes, or mentions. The color of a connection indicates the type of information: claims and fact checks. Clicking on an edge reveals the tweet(s) and the link to the shared story; clicking on a node reveals claims shared by the corresponding user. The network may be pruned for performance.
Q: Who decides what is true or not? A: We do not decide what is true or false. Not all claims you can visualize on Hoaxy are false, nor can we track all false stories. We aren’t even saying that the fact checkers are 100% correct all the time. You can use the Hoaxy tool to observe how unverified stories and the fact checking of those stories spread on public social media. We welcome users to click on links to fact-checking sites to see what they’ve found in their research, but it’s up for you to evaluate the evidence about a claim and its rebuttal.
Q: Do you have an editorial team? A: No. Hoaxy tracks claims and fact checks automatically, 24/7. We do not read the contents of the articles we track. This is why we cannot establish whether a claim is accurate, nor whether a particular claim was verified by a particular fact check…”