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Between Monday 30 August 2021 and Monday 06 September 2021, misinformation about Vaccine has increasead whereas misinformation about Spread 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 30 August 2021 and Monday 06 September 2021.

317,940 Misinforming Tweets
New:+393 Trend:+185
167,688 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+996 Trend:+202
14,422 Fact-checks
102 Fact-checking Organisations

Key Content and Topics

During the period between Monday 30 August 2021 and Monday 06 September 2021, 393 new URLs have been identified as potential misinforming content. Out of the 11 topics identified by Fact-checking organisations (Figure 1), most of the new shared URLs were about Vaccine with an increase of +685 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 Vaccine with a change of +189 compared to the previous total spread for the same topic whereas the topic that saw the least relative change was Vaccine with a change of -4 compared to the previous period.

The all time most important topic is Authorities with a total of 128,366 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.worldometers.info/ Agencia Ocote Authorities 144 75 34608
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du2wm5nhTXY PolitiFact Vaccine 144 29 5395
https://filiperafaeli.substack.com/p/hidroxicloroquina-para-profilaxia AgĂȘncia Lupa Cure 38 45 83
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dswaElkiRO8 FactCheck.org Other 13 6 241
https://biohackinfo.com/news-bill-gates-id2020-vaccine-implant-covid-19-digital-certificates/ Factcheck.kz Conspiracy Theory 7 3 1463
https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/corruption/belarusian-president-claims-imf-world-bank-offered-him-a-bribe-to-impose-covid-restrictions/ TEMPO Conspiracy Theory 6 2 778
https://c19study.com DĂ©tecteur de rumeurs Cure 6 0 29252
https://realrawnews.com/2021/08/marines-rebuke-def-sec-no-mandatory-vaccinations-for-my-marines/ FactCheck.org Vaccine 4 14 20
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/lab-made-coronavirus-triggers-debate-34502 LeadStories Conspiracy Theory 4 0 2115
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/09/30/proof-that-the-pandemic-was-planned-with-purpose/ Newschecker Conspiracy Theory 3 1 1522

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Topic Current Week Previous Week Total
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 62 44 397
https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/the-development-of-mrna-vaccines-was-a-collaborative-effort-robert-malone-contributed-to-their-development-but-he-is-not-their-inventor/ Vaccine 52 23 75
https://www.factcheck.org/2021/04/scicheck-idaho-doctor-makes-baseless-claims-about-safety-of-covid-19-vaccines/ Vaccine 30 0 251
https://www.factcheck.org/2021/08/scicheck-researcher-distorts-facts-on-covid-19-vaccine-approval-liability/ Vaccine 30 0 30
https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/study-in-vietnam-showed-that-delta-infection-results-in-a-higher-viral-load-compared-to-earlier-strains-not-that-vaccinated-people-are-more-infectious-than-unvaccinated-people/ Vaccine 20 0 20
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jul/23/tiktok-posts/biden-harris-doubted-trump-covid-19-vaccines-not-v/ Vaccine 19 15 215
https://healthfeedback.org/claimreview/ivermectin-isnt-a-highly-effective-drug-for-treating-covid-19-tess-lawrie/ Cure 18 12 170
https://factcheck.afp.com/us-cardiologist-makes-false-claims-about-covid-19-vaccination Vaccine 17 7 354
https://www.factcheck.org/2020/05/media-didnt-misuse-boys-photo-in-deaths-of-three-covid-19-victims/ Authorities 17 4 57
https://teyit.org/analiz-nobel-odulu-sahibi-luc-montagnierin-covid-19-asisi-olanlarin-iki-yil-icinde-olecegini-acikladigi-iddiasi Vaccine 16 17 276

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 859 countries and covering 49 languages.

The largest amount of fact-checked content comes from English (7,598 fact-checks) and the least is Finland (1 fact-checks). Most fact-checked content is in Spanish (4,116) followed by Portuguese (2,495) and Ukrainian (1,764) (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/).