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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.

2,859 Misinforming Tweets
New:+316 Trend:-1,120
119 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+34 Trend:+18
1,444 Fact-checks
112 Fact-checking Organisations

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).

Figure 1: Domain importance.

Figure 2: Amount of domains 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 Domain Current Week Previous Week Total
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrk2bNnZoTU euvsdisinfo.eu youtube.com 138 1248 1386
https://de.rt.com/meinung/130821-menschen-werden-mit-corona-beschaeftigt/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 88 0 88
https://de.rt.com/meinung/130745-sicherheitsgarantien-fur-russland-sind-sicherheitsgarantien-fur-europa/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 49 0 49
https://de.rt.com/meinung/130708-ueber-die-ukraine-reden-ueber-die-minsker-abkommen-schweigen/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 25 19 44
https://ria.ru/20220130/patrushev-1770174534.html euvsdisinfo.eu ria.ru 6 45 51
https://tass.com/world/1398211 euvsdisinfo.eu tass.com 3 0 3
https://de.rt.com/international/130898-analyst-russland-hat-nur-noch-drei-optionen/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 2 0 2
https://pl.sputniknews.com/20220204/upa-ma-zastapic-nato-17190527.html euvsdisinfo.eu sputniknews.com 2 0 2
https://www.rt.com/russia/542741-genocide-in-donbass-putin/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 1 0 111
https://ria.ru/20220118/donbass-1768245999.html euvsdisinfo.eu ria.ru 1 0 100

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Domain Current Week Previous Week Total
https://verifica.efe.com/crisis-ucrania-rusia-tanques-invasion-protestas-bulos/ efe.com 18 0 18
https://verifica.efe.com/medico-cesar-carballo-ucrania-television/ efe.com 11 0 11
https://verifica.efe.com/hunter-hijo-biden-burisma-ucrania/ efe.com 5 12 17
https://correctiv.org/faktencheck/2022/01/21/falsche-untertitel-dieses-video-zeigt-weder-den-russischen-verteidigungsminister-noch-geht-es-um-annalena-baerbock/ correctiv.org 0 3 35
https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/ukraine-is-the-greatest-threat-to-security-and-peace-in-europe euvsdisinfo.eu 0 1 1
https://www.stopfake.org/ru/manipulyatsiya-v-ukraine-vvodyat-shtrafy-dlya-nevaktsinirovannyh/ stopfake.org 0 0 11
https://www.stopfake.org/ru/fejk-v-ukraine-protokoly-lecheniya-covid-19-prestupnye/ stopfake.org 0 0 10
https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/there-are-10-000-nato-troops-stationed-in-ukraine euvsdisinfo.eu 0 0 7
https://afghanistan.factcrescendo.com/ factcrescendo.com 0 0 5
https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-us-desperately-needs-a-little-war-with-russia-pushes-ukraine-towards-escalation euvsdisinfo.eu 0 0 4

Table 2: Top fact-checked content.

Fact-Checkers and Spreaders Location

The data used for creating the Twitter dataset is obtained from 112 fact-checking organisations.

The largest amount of fact-checked content comes from euvsdisinfo.eu (154 fact-checks) and the least from Verificat (1 fact-checks). Most fact-checked content are from AFP fact checking (138) followed by Fact Crescendo (81) and Check Your Fact (59) (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Amount of fact-checks by fact-checkers.

Figure 4: Identified location of users spreading fact-checks and misinformation.

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
Ukraine Sovereign state in eastern europe. 34 15 81
Madrid Capital and largest city of spain. 29 0 29
Belarus Sovereign state in eastern europe. 18 0 18
Plaza de la Independencia Square in madrid, spain. 18 0 18
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

Table 3: Top locations mentioned in misinforming posts.

Person Description Current Week Previous Week Total
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 6th president of ukraine. 23 12 35
Vladimir Putin 2nd and 4th president of russia. 11 3 46
César Carballo . 11 0 11
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
Alexander Tkachov Russian politician. 0 3 35
Annalena Baerbock German politician. 0 3 35

Table 4: Top people mentioned in misinforming posts.

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 5: 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.