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Coronavirus Misinformation Weekly Briefing 20-04-2020

Published on
21 Apr 2020
The first in a new series of briefings from OII's Computational Propaganda team on misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the evolving nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—and public understanding of the crises—we provide a weekly briefing about the spread of coronavirus information across multiple social media platforms.

Key highlights:

  • Content from state-backed media and junk health sources is distributed to hundreds of millions of social media accounts, and the BBC, Guardian, New York Times, and Washington Post have roughly equal distribution to junk health news per article.
  • In total, articles produced by junk health news sources this week were engaged with over nine million times; though articles from state-backed media sources inspired the most engagement on average.
  • Thematically, this week’s junk health news and information focused on (1) accusing the WHO of incompetence, providing false information, and Chinese bias, and (2) supporting US President Trump’s withdrawal of funding from the WHO.

Read the full memo.