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Between Monday 12 July 2021 and Monday 19 July 2021, misinformation about Causes has increasead whereas misinformation about Vaccine has reduced.

The Fact-checking Observatory is an automatic service that collects misinforming content on Twitter using URLs that have been identified as potential misinformation by fact-checking websites. Using this data, the Fact-checking Observatory automatically generates weekly reports that updates the state of misinformation spread of fact-checked misinformation on Twitter.

This analysis is limited to URLs identified by Fact-checking organisations. The collected data only consist of non-blocked Twitter content and may be incomplete.

This report updates the status of misinformation spread between Monday 12 July 2021 and Monday 19 July 2021.

313,356 Misinforming Tweets
New:+484 Trend:-89
157,411 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+1,052 Trend:+42
13,737 Fact-checks
102 Fact-checking Organisations

Key Content and Topics

During the period between Monday 12 July 2021 and Monday 19 July 2021, 484 new URLs have been identified as potential misinforming content. Out of the 10 topics identified by Fact-checking organisations (Figure 1), most of the new shared URLs were about Vaccine with an increase of +961 compared to the previous total spread for the same topic. The topic that saw the least increase in spread compared to the previous period total spread was Face Mask with a change of +0 compared to the previous total spread for the same topic.

The topics used for the analysis are obtained from the COVID-19 specific fact-check alliance database and are defined as follows:

  1. Authorities: Information relating to government or authorities communication and general involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., crime, government, aid, lockdown).
  2. Causes: Information about the virus causes and outbreaks (e.g., China, animals).
  3. Conspiracy theories: COVID-19-related conspiracy theories (e.g., 5G, biological weapon).
  4. Cures: Information about potential virus cures (e.g., vaccines, hydroxychloroquine, bleach).
  5. Spread: Information relating to the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., travel, animals).
  6. Symptoms: Information relating to symptoms and symptomatic treatments of COVID-19 (e.g., cough, sore throat).
  7. Other: Any topic that does not fit directly the aforementioned categories.

In relation to the previous week, the topic that saw the biggest relative spread change was Other with a change of +27 compared to the previous total spread for the same topic whereas the topic that saw the least relative change was Other with a change of -27 compared to the previous period.

The all time most important topic is Authorities with a total of 126,623 URL shares and the least popular topic is Face Mask with 1 shares (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Topic Importance.

Figure 2: Amount of topic shares per week.

The top misinforming content and fact-checking articles shared since the last report are listed in Table 1 and Table 2.

Misinforming URL Fact-check URL Topic Current Week Previous Week Total
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du2wm5nhTXY PolitiFact Vaccine 280 342 4344
https://www.worldometers.info/ Agencia Ocote Authorities 157 167 33749
https://traugott-ickeroth.com/liveticker/ Correctiv Conspiracy Theory 9 3 498
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r7ZyBcLTuY VoxCheck Vaccine 6 0 53
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/09/30/proof-that-the-pandemic-was-planned-with-purpose/ Newschecker Conspiracy Theory 5 6 1426
https://mcusercontent.com/92561d6dedb66a43fe9a6548f/files/bead7203-0798-4ac8-abe2-076208015556/Public_health_emergency_of_international_concert_Geert_Vanden_Bossche.01.pdf D├ętecteur de rumeurs Vaccine 3 0 477
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/lab-made-coronavirus-triggers-debate-34502 LeadStories Conspiracy Theory 2 4 2092
https://www.bitchute.com/video/InH89amCpy7S/ FactCheck.org Vaccine 2 2 27
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/vaccine-trial-catastrophe-moderna-vaccine-has-20-serious-injury-rate-in-high-dose-group/ Facta Vaccine 2 0 430
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/24/rise-fall-trumps-obsession-with-hydroxychloroquine/ D├ętecteur de rumeurs Cure 2 0 106

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Topic Current Week Previous Week Total
https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/vaccines-are-a-safer-alternative-for-acquiring-immunity-compared-to-natural-infection-and-covid-19-survivors-benefit-from-getting-vaccinated-contrary-to-claims-by-peter-mccullough/ Vaccine 60 38 242
https://factuel.afp.com/non-cette-resolution-du-conseil-de-leurope-ne-proscrirait-pas-une-obligation-vaccinale Vaccine 52 14 114
https://www.factcheck.org/2021/03/scicheck-viral-posts-misuse-vaers-data-to-make-false-claims-about-covid-19-vaccines/ Vaccine 36 26 255
https://factcheck.afp.com/us-cardiologist-makes-false-claims-about-covid-19-vaccination Vaccine 32 14 233
https://www.sciencepresse.qc.ca/actualite/detecteur-rumeurs/2021/03/31/vaccination-fait-apparaitre-virus-plus-dangereux-faux Vaccine 31 10 123
https://factuel.afp.com/vaccination-contagiosite-et-immunite-les-infox-virales-dun-cardiologue-americain Vaccine 22 9 56
https://teyit.org/analiz-nobel-odulu-sahibi-luc-montagnierin-covid-19-asisi-olanlarin-iki-yil-icinde-olecegini-acikladigi-iddiasi Vaccine 21 29 157
https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/no-data-available-to-suggest-a-link-between-indias-reduction-of-covid-19-cases-and-the-use-of-ivermectin-jim-hoft-gateway-pundit/ Cure 17 16 182
https://www.factcheck.org/2021/07/scicheck-unsubstantiated-claims-follow-deaths-of-british-and-indian-airline-pilots/ Vaccine 16 12 43
https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/byram-bridles-claim-that-covid-19-vaccines-are-toxic-fails-to-account-for-key-differences-between-the-spike-protein-produced-during-infection-and-vaccination-misrepresents-studies/ Vaccine 15 14 268

Table 2: Top fact-checked content.

Fact-checking

The data used for creating the Twitter dataset is obtained from the Poynter Coronavirus Fact Alliance. The alliance consists of 102 fact-checking organisation based in 803 countries and covering 48 languages.

The largest amount of fact-checked content comes from English (7,259 fact-checks) and the least is Finland (1 fact-checks). Most fact-checked content is in Spanish (3,986) followed by Portuguese (2,432) and Ukrainian (1,545) (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Amount of fact-checks by language.

Figure 4: Amount of fact-checked content per contry.

Determining a direct impact of fact-checking on the spread of misinformation is not easy. However, it is possible to determine how well a particular corrective information is spreading in relation to its corresponding misinformation.

Figure 5 shows how misinformation and fact-checking content has spread in various topics for the last two analysis periods and overall.

Figure 5: Topical misinformation and fact-checks spread.

Demographic Impact

Using automatic methods, Twitter account demographics are extracted for user age, gender and account type (i.e., identify if an account belong to an individual or organisation).

Figure 6 displays how misinformation and fact-checks are spread by different demographics.

Figure 6: Misinformation and Fact-check spread for different demographics. Top: Gender, Center: Age group, Bottom: Account type.

Data Collection and Methodology

The full methodology and information about the limitation and dataset used for this analysis can be accessed in the [methodology page](https://fcobservatory.org/faq/).