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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 March 2022 and Monday 28 March 2022.

19,354 Misinforming Tweets
New:+26 Trend:-293
48,560 Fact-checking Tweets
New:+911 Trend:-2,825
1,444 Fact-checks
112 Fact-checking Organisations

Key Content and Provenance

During the period between Monday 21 March 2022 and Monday 28 March 2022, 26 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 +344 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 verificat.cat with a change of +5 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 -1,523 compared to the previous period.

The all time most important domain is afp.com with a total of 19,791 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://thefauxy.com/pakistan-imposes-economic-sanctions-on-russia-refuses-to-repay-loans/ Taiwan FactCheck Center thefauxy.com 13 24 3612
https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/2022/russland-bombardiert-eine-geburtsklinik-marianna-und-die-neue-brutkastenluege/ CORRECTIV.ORG anti-spiegel.ru 6 69 700
https://www.simonparkes.org/post/ukrainian-is-a-part-of-russia-meaning-russia-can-enter-at-any-time LeadStories simonparkes.org 3 3 592
https://tass.com/world/1418563 euvsdisinfo.eu tass.com 2 0 77
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2022/01/19/if-blinken-doesnt-want-a-russian-invasion-of-ukraine-why-is-he-provoking-one/ euvsdisinfo.eu paulcraigroberts.org 1 0 35
https://tass.ru/politika/12996745 euvsdisinfo.eu tass.ru 1 0 29
https://twitter.com/AxlGuidato/status/1503080062496747522 Open.online twitter.com 0 171 581
http://neuesausrussland.online/wie-mobile-krematorien-dabei-helfen-den-ukrainischen-massenverkauf-von-organen-an-die-eu-zu-verbergen/ CORRECTIV.ORG neuesausrussland.online 0 26 86
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00159pp Full Fact bbc.co.uk 0 6 6
https://twitter.com/isabelschayani/status/1501097719733145605 CORRECTIV twitter.com 0 5 105

Table 1: Top misinforming content.

Fact-check URL Domain Current Week Previous Week Total
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/feb/25/tweets/there-are-no-us-run-biolabs-ukraine-contrary-socia/ politifact.com 98 303 1782
https://factcheck.afp.com/doc.afp.com.326C94R afp.com 53 10 63
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/feb/28/candace-owens/fact-checking-claims-nato-us-broke-agreement-again/ politifact.com 47 46 612
https://www.open.online/2022/03/08/zelensky-croce-ferro-tedesca-nazista-fake open.online 44 11 140
https://www.factcheck.org/2022/03/zelensky-remains-in-ukraine-despite-false-claims-on-social-media/ factcheck.org 41 0 41
https://fullfact.org/online/ukraine-footage-actor-body-bag/ fullfact.org 23 80 103
https://factual.afp.com/doc.afp.com.326F9DA afp.com 23 31 54
https://www.factcheck.org/2022/03/hunter-biden-left-ukrainian-company-in-2019-contrary-to-ted-nugent-post/ factcheck.org 23 29 117
https://factuel.afp.com/doc.afp.com.324Q3AK afp.com 18 108 126
https://maldita.es/malditobulo/20220321/reunion-zelenski-primeros-ministros-polonia-ucrania/ maldita.es 18 0 18

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. 860 3711 49166
United States of America Sovereign state in north america. 300 1774 8668
Soviet Union Federal socialist state in eastern europe and northern asia (1922–1991). 226 637 6538
Germany Sovereign state in central europe. 160 385 2894
Earth Third planet from the sun in the solar system. 156 1359 5371
Poland Sovereign state in central europe. 155 194 2597
Georgia Country in the caucasus. 126 514 2477
Europe Continent on earth, mainly on the northeastern quadrant, i.e. north-western eurasia. 100 250 4541
United Kingdom Country in western europe. 93 248 2518
Moscow Capital and most populous city of russia. 84 314 3935

Table 3: Top locations mentioned in misinforming posts.

Person Description Current Week Previous Week Total
Vladimir Putin 2nd and 4th president of russia. 396 808 20993
Volodymyr Zelenskyi 6th president of ukraine. 263 638 11751
Volodymyr the Great Grand prince of kiev. 55 19 177
Boris Yeltsin Soviet and russian politician, 1st president of russia (1931-2007). 49 49 672
Bill Clinton 42nd president of the united states. 47 46 614
George H. W. Bush 41st president of the united states (1924-2018). 47 46 612
Hans-Dietrich Genscher German politician and member of the free democratic party (1927-2016). 47 46 612
Helmut Kohl Chancellor of west germany and reunified germany (1930–2017). 47 46 612
Mikhail Gorbachev General secretary of the communist party of the soviet union. 47 46 612
Joe Biden President-elect of the united states, former vice president (2009–2017). 42 127 1559

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.