Wild Echo Chambers

Meet our friend Hoaxy. We tasked Hoaxy with the phrase “crowd size”, and this (above) is what Hoaxy spat back: data, lots of data. What Hoaxy does is track stories across the and then separates the data it collects into two, color-coded sets. One set for “claims” and one set for “fact-checks”. While still in beta, what Hoaxy does is important because it presents us with tangible, visible clusters of information and tells us how and information is being distributed across the internetz and where the hubs of “claims” and “fact-checks” are. On the left side, Hoaxy graphs the increase in frequency of the search word or phrase corresponding with a date (note the January 21 spike). Best of all though, Hoaxy shows relationships between those hubs and everything else (on the right side; the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff).

When the colors are revealed (above), Hoaxy’s data shows which locations on the internetz are restating claims and which ones are stopping to fact-check. For example, the node “realDonaldTrump”, in the cluster (above, right) is purple and the branches from it are 50/50 orange (fact-check) and purple (claim). This half those who read a claim about crowd size (our search phrase) wrote about the claim and fact-checked it—shown in a purple node, to orange branch, to orange node. 

The masses of purple are equally insular in all of Ddong Today’s test searches with Hoaxy. These purple tumors with no orange intersects are where the alt-rite live, read, bitch, and plot. This is what an alt-rite echo chamber looks like (above, centered around Alex Jones).

A side effect of Hoaxy is the blunt demonstration of the two halves of the political spectrum which rarely engage each other …

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