© Hoaxmap

Hoaxmap

Hoaxmap gives an overview of the many evidentially fake rumors (hoaxes) concerning refugees and asylum seekers.

Hoaxmap collects press reports about false rumors concerning refugees / asylum seekers and illustrates them on a map. It was founded by Karolin Schwarz and Lutz Helm from Leipzig. The founders want to point out bad reporting in the media to oppose prejudices against refugees. They put hoaxmap.org online beginning of February 2016 in order to counter the large number of baseless rumors which spread quickly especially through social media. In the first month alone they gathered almost 300 reports from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The research is done partly by themselves, moreover users can reach the two with tips via mail@hoaxmap.org or @hoaxmap on Twitter.

However one should be careful when drawing conclusions. In the first instance, the site only mirrors media coverage regarding rumors. This does not allow simple conclusions to be reached about where specifically many unfounded rumors are circulating, or even about the atmosphere within society at large. Either way it teaches a more critical approach when dealing with all too quickly adopted information from online sources without verifying and reflecting. One can only hope that this will help to counteract the viral spread of false assertions in the future.

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