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 31 January 2022 and Monday 07 February 2022.
Key Content and Provenance
During the period between Monday 31 January 2022 and Monday 07 February 2022, 316 new URLs have been identified as potential misinforming content. Out of the 42 domains identified by Fact-checking organisations (Figure 1), most of the new shared URLs were from rt.com with an increase of +165 compared to the previous total spread for the same domain The domain that saw the least increase in spread compared to the previous period total spread was ahram.org.eg with a change of +0 compared to the previous total spread for the same domain
In relation to the previous week, the domain that saw the biggest relative spread change was rt.com with a change of +110 compared to the previous total spread for the same domain whereas the domain that saw the least relative change was youtube.com with a change of -1,110 compared to the previous period.
The all time most important domain is youtube.com with a total of 1,386 URL shares and the least popular domain is alkhabrpress.com with 1 shares (Figure 2).
The top misinforming content and fact-checking articles shared since the last report are listed in Table 1 and Table 2.
Fact-Checkers and Spreaders Location
The data used for creating the Twitter dataset is obtained from 135 fact-checking organisations.
The largest amount of fact-checked content comes from euvsdisinfo.eu (262 fact-checks) and the least from Verificat (1 fact-checks). Most fact-checked content are from LeadStories (206) followed by AFP fact checking (188) and Factcheck.ge (138) (Figure 3).
Locations and Mentions
Using automatic entity extraction methods, we identify key locations and persons mention in the fact-checking articles in order to identify what location and person are the most discussed in misinforming content.
The top mentioned locations and persons are listed in Table 3 and Table 4.
|Location||Description||Current Week||Previous Week||Total|
|Central Asia||Core region of the asian continent.||5||12||17|
|Crimean Peninsula||Peninsula on the northern coast of the black sea.||5||12||17|
|Europe||Continent on earth, mainly on the northeastern quadrant, i.e. north-western eurasia.||5||12||17|
|South America||Continent, mainly on the earth’s southwestern quadrant.||5||12||17|
|Soviet Union||Federal socialist state in eastern europe and northern asia (1922–1991).||5||12||17|
|Spain||Sovereign state in southwestern europe with territories in the mediterranean sea, the atlantic ocean and northern africa.||5||12||17|
|Ukraine||Sovereign state in eastern europe.||5||12||17|
|United States of America||Sovereign state in north america.||5||12||17|
|Person||Description||Current Week||Previous Week||Total|
|Barack Obama||44th president of the united states.||5||12||17|
|Donald Trump||45th and current president of the united states.||5||12||17|
|Donald Trump Jr.||American businessman and son of u.s. President donald trump.||5||12||17|
|Hunter Biden||American lawyer, investment advisor, and second son of former vice president joe biden.||5||12||17|
|Joe Biden||President-elect of the united states, former vice president (2009–2017).||5||12||17|
|Volodymyr Zelenskyi||6th president of ukraine.||5||12||17|
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.
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.