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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 March 2022 and Monday 21 March 2022.

19,328 Misinforming Tweets
New:+319 Trend:-1,314
47,649 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+3,736 Trend:-5,226
1,444 Fact-checks
112 Fact-checking Organisations

Key Content and Provenance

During the period between Monday 14 March 2022 and Monday 21 March 2022, 319 new URLs have been identified as potential misinforming content. Out of the 126 domains identified by Fact-checking organisations (Figure 1), most of the new shared URLs were from afp.com with an increase of +1,867 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 fullfact.org with a change of +140 compared to the previous total spread for the same domain whereas the domain that saw the least relative change was afp.com with a change of -2,189 compared to the previous period.

The all time most important domain is afp.com with a total of 19,447 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/AxlGuidato/status/1503080062496747522 Open.online twitter.com 171 410 581
https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/2022/russland-bombardiert-eine-geburtsklinik-marianna-und-die-neue-brutkastenluege/ CORRECTIV.ORG anti-spiegel.ru 69 625 694
http://neuesausrussland.online/wie-mobile-krematorien-dabei-helfen-den-ukrainischen-massenverkauf-von-organen-an-die-eu-zu-verbergen/ CORRECTIV.ORG neuesausrussland.online 26 5 86
https://thefauxy.com/pakistan-imposes-economic-sanctions-on-russia-refuses-to-repay-loans/ Taiwan FactCheck Center thefauxy.com 24 95 3599
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00159pp Full Fact bbc.co.uk 6 0 6
https://twitter.com/isabelschayani/status/1501097719733145605 CORRECTIV twitter.com 5 100 105
https://twitter.com/Kuduszaade/status/1498609584193347585 Verify SY twitter.com 4 14 2475
https://twitter.com/paolomossetti/status/1504014096802488320 Facta.news twitter.com 4 0 4
https://www.simonparkes.org/post/ukrainian-is-a-part-of-russia-meaning-russia-can-enter-at-any-time LeadStories simonparkes.org 3 10 589
https://iz.ru/1281102/nikolai-ivanov-tatiana-baikova/ukraina-eto-dlia-nikh-kak-universalnaia-otkryvashka euvsdisinfo.eu iz.ru 2 0 10

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Domain Current Week Previous Week Total
https://factcheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.32674RT afp.com 752 0 752
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/feb/25/tweets/there-are-no-us-run-biolabs-ukraine-contrary-socia/ politifact.com 303 976 1684
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.32683FZ afp.com 258 0 258
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.32693CW afp.com 154 0 154
https://factuel.afp.com/doc.afp.com.324Q3AK afp.com 108 0 108
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.326B63M afp.com 81 0 81
https://fullfact.org/online/ukraine-footage-actor-body-bag/ fullfact.org 80 0 80
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.3266642 afp.com 74 0 74
https://fullfact.org/online/us-paratrooper-ukraine-video/ fullfact.org 63 0 63
https://fullfact.org/news/ukraine-family-visa-scheme-eligibility/ fullfact.org 56 0 56

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. 3711 9363 48306
United States of America Sovereign state in north america. 1774 2635 8368
Earth Third planet from the sun in the solar system. 1359 1658 5215
Turkey Sovereign state straddling southeastern europe and western asia. 783 292 2474
Sri Lanka Sovereign state in south asia, situated on an island in the indian ocean. 755 11 822
Bolu Province Province of turkey. 752 0 752
Soviet Union Federal socialist state in eastern europe and northern asia (1922–1991). 637 2150 6312
Georgia Country in the caucasus. 514 1307 2351
Russia Sovereign state in eastern europe and northern asia. 405 2549 8810
Germany Sovereign state in central europe. 385 1386 2734

Table 3: Top locations mentioned in misinforming posts.

Person Description Current Week Previous Week Total
Vladimir Putin 2nd and 4th president of russia. 808 3585 20597
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 6th president of ukraine. 638 2486 11488
Joe Biden President-elect of the united states, former vice president (2009–2017). 127 615 1517
Alexandra Goujon French political scientist. 108 0 108
Anne de Tinguy French historian and political scientist. 108 0 108
Sergey Lavrov Russian politician and foreign minister. 95 627 744
Olena Zelenska Ukrainian architect and screenwriter. 82 53 224
Donald Trump 45th and current president of the united states. 80 30 263
Sajid Javid British politician (born 1969). 62 0 62
Richard Nixon 37th president of the united states of america (1913-1994). 54 332 616

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.