More than likely, you’ve encountered a “meme,” an article, photo, video or other digital file type which disseminates quickly through the Internet. These nuggets of information drop into our computer screen at the speed of digital transfer, and are propagated faster than fact checkers can say ‘misinformation’.

Which is not to say that every meme is a lie…But when dealing with information that can’t necessarily be verified, how can you be sure which is which? For those of you who have ever found yourself questioning whether the Tweet you’re reading is truth or meme, help is on the way. Researchers at Indiana University have developed a tool called Truthy, which analyzes the diffusion of Tweets in order to detect whether they are genuine groundswells of social sentiment or intentional spreading of misinformation.

The tool’s algorithms are complex and use several data input streams, including Truthy-user feedback, to identify misleading memes – a great use of Web 2.0 to improve data analysis system architecture. Check out the tool and see if you can spot any fishy memes!

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