Hoaxy: A Fake-News Search Engine Launches

hoaxlogo_300Indiana University’s Network Science Institute and its Center for Complex Networks and System Research has launched a fake-news search engine called Hoaxy.  Hoaxy allows a person to search for fake-news and then see how many times it has been shared on social media.  Hoaxy generates its search results from 132 websites that were compiled by fake-news warning sites such as Fake News Watch and Snopes.

Hoaxy also tracks the spread of fact-checking articles, which according to their website, is usually 10-20 hours behind fake-news stories and do not get shared nearly as often as fake-news.

According to Hoaxy’s FAQ page, searches are automated and compared to potential fake-news stories with fact checking articles.  They also point out that not all articles listed are fake, and that some may display high bias. As we have pointed out on Media Bias/Fact Check there is a significant difference between bias and facts.

Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC News) supports all means to bring awareness to fake-news and media bias.  While Hoaxy is a good idea, it also could be unfair to some sources that are publishing a factual story that gets listed in the search due to being one of the flagged sites.  Some sources listed on these lists also publish factual stories, but due to a few that were questionable in the past, they will be labeled as fake.  Perhaps if Hoaxy provided a disclaimer along with search results that read “not verified fake,” if it does not match up with a known fact check and further state “may be highly biased,” then it would be more clear. Either way it is still up to the reader to check for themselves, though this may be a means to direct people to question sources and their stories.

This is an interesting website that we will keep our eye on.

Dave Van Zandt

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