Prevalence of Low-Credibility Information on Twitter During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Kai-Cheng Yang, Christopher Torres-Lugo, Filippo Menczer

As the novel coronavirus spreads across the world, concerns regarding the spreading of misinformation about it are also growing. Here we estimate the prevalence of links to low-credibility information on Twitter during the outbreak, and the role of bots in spreading these links. We find that the the combined volume of tweets linking to various low-credibility information is comparable to the volume of New York Times articles and CDC links. Content analysis reveals a politicization of the pandemic. The majority of this content spreads via retweets. Social bots are involved in both posting and amplifying low-credibility information, although the majority of volume is generated by likely humans. Some of these accounts appear to amplify low-credibility sources in a coordinated fashion.

Knowledge Graph



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