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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 14 February 2022 and Monday 21 February 2022.

3,450 Misinforming Tweets
New:+412 Trend:+233
234 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+70 Trend:+25
1,444 Fact-checks
112 Fact-checking Organisations

Key Content and Provenance

During the period between Monday 14 February 2022 and Monday 21 February 2022, 412 new URLs have been identified as potential misinforming content. Out of the 47 domains identified by Fact-checking organisations (Figure 1), most of the new shared URLs were from youtube.com with an increase of +296 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 youtube.com with a change of +226 compared to the previous total spread for the same domain whereas the domain that saw the least relative change was rt.com with a change of -16 compared to the previous period.

The all time most important domain is youtube.com with a total of 1,752 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=c8yuJ1a4Rz4 euvsdisinfo.eu youtube.com 231 0 231
https://de.rt.com/meinung/131834-kanonen-schweigen-wenn-medien-reden-wie-angesagt-ukraine-false-flag/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 72 0 72
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrk2bNnZoTU euvsdisinfo.eu youtube.com 46 62 1494
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjGDgAquN7M euvsdisinfo.eu youtube.com 19 0 19
https://www.interfax.ru/world/822720 euvsdisinfo.eu interfax.ru 13 0 13
https://oroszhirek.hu/2022/02/15/moszkva-a-nyugat-egyetlen-loves-nelkul-megsemmisult/ euvsdisinfo.eu oroszhirek.hu 9 0 9
https://de.rt.com/meinung/130821-menschen-werden-mit-corona-beschaeftigt/ euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 7 64 159
https://fr.sputniknews.com/20220126/la-russie-rejette-les-accusations-des-pays-bas-et-de-lukraine-sur-le-crash-du-mh17-1054607167.html euvsdisinfo.eu sputniknews.com 3 0 21
https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/61b257479a79476f1deba490 euvsdisinfo.eu rbc.ru 3 0 3
https://francais.rt.com/international/95750-crise-ukraine-acceleration-posture-agressive-karine-bechet-golovko euvsdisinfo.eu rt.com 2 18 20

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Domain Current Week Previous Week Total
https://correctiv.org/faktencheck/2022/02/18/ricarda-lang-bildcollage-zeigt-erfundenen-dialog-bei-markus-lanz-ueber-russlands-grenze/ correctiv.org 28 0 28
https://correctiv.org/faktencheck/2022/02/17/angeblicher-cnn-bericht-dass-putin-us-waffen-von-der-ukraine-beschlagnahmen-wolle-ist-manipuliert/ correctiv.org 15 0 15
https://verifica.efe.com/hunter-hijo-biden-burisma-ucrania/ efe.com 11 18 46
https://checamos.afp.com/doc.afp.com.322U8DC afp.com 8 0 8
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323962X afp.com 4 0 4
https://www.ellinikahoaxes.gr/2022/02/15/incident-with-two-dead-in-ukraine-misinformation/ ellinikahoaxes.gr 3 0 3
https://faktencheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.32369ML afp.com 1 0 1
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.9ZG2CP afp.com 0 18 18
https://verifica.efe.com/crisis-ucrania-rusia-tanques-invasion-protestas-bulos/ efe.com 0 4 22
https://verifica.efe.com/medico-cesar-carballo-ucrania-television/ efe.com 0 3 14

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. 70 43 194
Russia Sovereign state in eastern europe and northern asia. 44 0 79
Europe Continent on earth, mainly on the northeastern quadrant, i.e. north-western eurasia. 15 36 68
United States of America Sovereign state in north america. 15 18 50
Central Asia Core region of the asian continent. 11 18 46
Crimean Peninsula Peninsula on the northern coast of the black sea. 11 18 46
South America Continent, mainly on the earth’s southwestern quadrant. 11 18 46
Soviet Union Federal socialist state in eastern europe and northern asia (1922–1991). 11 18 46
Spain Sovereign state in southwestern europe with territories in the mediterranean sea, the atlantic ocean and northern africa. 11 18 46
Germany Sovereign state in central europe. 9 0 9

Table 3: Top locations mentioned in misinforming posts.

Person Description Current Week Previous Week Total
Joe Biden President-elect of the united states, former vice president (2009–2017). 30 18 65
Ricarda Lang German politician. 28 0 28
Vladimir Putin 2nd and 4th president of russia. 19 21 86
Sergey Lavrov Russian politician and foreign minister. 15 0 15
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 6th president of ukraine. 11 22 68
Barack Obama 44th president of the united states. 11 18 46
Donald Trump 45th and current president of the united states. 11 18 46
Donald Trump Jr.  American businessman and son of u.s. President donald trump. 11 18 46
Hunter Biden American lawyer, investment advisor, and second son of former vice president joe biden. 11 18 46
Jens Stoltenberg Norwegian politician, 13th secretary-general of nato, 27th prime minister of norway. 4 0 4

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.