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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 21 February 2022 and Monday 28 February 2022.

9,978 Misinforming Tweets
New:+6,528 Trend:+6,116
18,135 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+17,901 Trend:+17,831
1,444 Fact-checks
112 Fact-checking Organisations

Key Content and Provenance

During the period between Monday 21 February 2022 and Monday 28 February 2022, 6,528 new URLs have been identified as potential misinforming content. Out of the 94 domains identified by Fact-checking organisations (Figure 1), most of the new shared URLs were from afp.com with an increase of +7,171 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 afp.com with a change of +7,158 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 -185 compared to the previous period.

The all time most important domain is afp.com with a total of 7,202 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://twitter.com/LatestAnonNews/status/1496696416118398977 BOOM twitter.com 2074 0 2074
https://twitter.com/anluma99/status/1497262733841997824 Verificat twitter.com 1341 0 1341
https://t.me/TheHardTruthToSwollow/10597 LeadStories t.me 1096 0 1096
https://www.simonparkes.org/post/ukrainian-is-a-part-of-russia-meaning-russia-can-enter-at-any-time LeadStories simonparkes.org 560 0 560
https://twitter.com/FreddyRichard/status/1497046694281678858 Mala Espina Check twitter.com 460 0 460
https://twitter.com/choquei/status/1496858936624173062 Aos Fatos twitter.com 453 0 453
https://twitter.com/tathagata2/status/1497762707541409800 The Logical Indian twitter.com 213 0 213
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrk2bNnZoTU euvsdisinfo.eu youtube.com 69 46 1563
https://www.wochenblick.at/welt/fake-meldung-beschossener-kindergarten-eine-false-flag-operation-der-ukrainischen-armee/ CORRECTIV.ORG wochenblick.at 53 0 53
https://twitter.com/HbrMarmara/status/1497444286991933441 Teyit.org twitter.com 46 0 46

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Domain Current Week Previous Week Total
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323V2RD afp.com 1308 0 1308
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323V6M7 afp.com 677 0 677
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323U9K2 afp.com 600 0 600
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323V9NA afp.com 562 0 562
https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/publicaciones-de-guerra-en-ucrania-usan-fotos-de-ataque-gaza colombiacheck.com 538 0 538
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323X4U6 afp.com 503 0 503
https://www.boomlive.in/fact-check/world/viral-photo-russia-ukraine-attack-explosin-old-picture-israel-air-strike-on-gaza-social-media-16899 boomlive.in 475 0 475
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323X3ND afp.com 463 0 463
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323V8TV afp.com 420 0 420
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.323V6H2 afp.com 415 0 415

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. 16123 70 16317
Israel Sovereign state in western asia. 3253 0 3253
Gaza Strip Region on the eastern coast of the mediterranean sea. 3225 0 3225
Europe Continent on earth, mainly on the northeastern quadrant, i.e. north-western eurasia. 2309 15 2377
Spain Sovereign state in southwestern europe with territories in the mediterranean sea, the atlantic ocean and northern africa. 2305 11 2351
United States of America Sovereign state in north america. 2030 15 2080
Jerusalem Ancient city in the judean mountains. 1829 0 1829
Tel Aviv City in israel. 1647 0 1647
Kharkiv Capital city of kharkiv oblast in eastern ukraine. 1210 0 1210
United Kingdom Country in western europe. 952 0 952

Table 3: Top locations mentioned in misinforming posts.

Person Description Current Week Previous Week Total
Vladimir Putin 2nd and 4th president of russia. 8762 19 8848
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 6th president of ukraine. 3232 11 3300
Anton Shekhovtsov Ukrainian political scientist. 1341 0 1341
Joe Biden President-elect of the united states, former vice president (2009–2017). 394 30 459
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan President of turkey. 293 0 293
Muammar Gaddafi Libyan revolutionary, politician and political theorist (1942-2011). 259 0 259
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Indian spiritual teacher and the founder-preceptor of the international society for krishna consciousness (1896-1977). 213 0 213
Antony Blinken American government official. 173 0 173
Salvador Allende 28th president of chile (1908–1973). 115 0 115
Saddam Hussein Iraqi politician and president. 106 0 106

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.