Weekly Misinformation Briefings

14 December 2020

We provide weekly misinformation briefings. We will be posting all briefings to this page, so check back regularly for our latest research. The weekly briefings presented here were previously coronavirus-focused, and can be found at this page.

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To be notified of weekly briefings as they are published, please email Marie Lemon at exec.howard@oii.ox.ac.uk 

N.B. These briefings are paused for the rest of the 2020 calendar year.

14-12-2020

For the week preceding 10-12-2020, we find:

  • The social media distribution network of all articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached just below three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk news sources. The average article from state-backed sources reached over 7,400 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached over 4,400 users and the average junk health article reached over 2,000 users.
  • Similarly, aggregate content from mainstream sources receives the largest amount of total user engagement. However, on a per article basis, state-backed news receives over 500 engagements and junk news receives over 1,100, while average articles from mainstream sources get over 300 engagements.
  • The most prominent junk news and state-backed topics, in descending order, were accusations of electoral fraud, Pfizer’s vaccine candidate, photos of the week, and attacks on President-Elect Biden.

 

08-12-2020

For the week preceding 03-12-2020, we find:

  • The social media distribution network of all articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached just below three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk news sources. The average article from state-backed sources reached over 7,200 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached over 4,600 users and the average junk health article reached over 2,000 users.
  • Similarly, aggregate content from mainstream sources receives the largest amount of total user engagement. However, on a per article basis, state-backed news receives over 500 engagements and junk news receives over 1,400, while average articles from mainstream sources get over 300 engagements.
  • The most prominent junk news and state-backed topics, in descending order, were accusations of electoral fraud, attacks on President Trump, alleged radicalism of the political left in the US, Chinese international cooperation, the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, general coronavirus statistics, and photos. The single most engaged-with article this week addressed the issue of alleged social media censorship against the political right .

 

 

30-11-2020

For the week preceding 26-11-2020, we find:

  • The social media distribution network of all articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached just below three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk news sources. The average article from state-backed sources reached over 8,400 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached over 4,700 users and the average junk health article reached over 2,100 users.
  • Similarly, aggregate content from mainstream sources gets the largest amount of total user engagement. However, on a per article basis, state-backed news receives over 300 engagements and junk news receives over 1,600, while average articles from mainstream sources get over 200 engagements.
  • The most prominent junk news and state-backed topics, in descending order, were accusations of oppression of the political right, photos of the week from Chinese state-backed media, President Xi’s comments at the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit, allegations of electoral fraud in the US, and general coronavirus statistics around the world.

 

23-11-2020

For the week preceding 19-11-2020, we find:

  • The social media distribution network of all articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached just below three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk news sources. The average article from state-backed sources reached over 7,500 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached over 4,500 users and the average junk health article reached over 2,200 users.
  • Similarly, aggregate content from mainstream sources gets the largest amount of total user engagement. However, on a per article basis, state-backed news receives over 300 engagements and junk news receives over 1,700, while average articles from mainstream sources get over 200 engagements.
  • The most prominent junk news and state-backed topics, in descending order, were false claims about electoral fraud, the “Million MAGA March”, accusations of totalitarianism under Democratic Party government, China and the recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, coronavirus vaccine candidates, photos from the last week, and general coronavirus statistics from around the world.

 

17-11-2020

 

For the week preceding 11-11-2020, we find:

  • The social media distribution network of all articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached just below three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk news sources. The average article from state-backed sources reached over 8,200 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached over 4,400 users and the average junk health article reached over 2,300 users.
  • Similarly, aggregate content from mainstream sources gets the largest amount of total user engagement. However, on a per article basis, state-backed news receives over 500 engagements and junk news receives over 1,600, while average articles from mainstream sources get over 350 engagements.
  • Our data collection shows false claims on voter registration in Pennsylvania reached up to 28.3 million individuals on social media.
  • The most prominent junk news and state-backed topics, in descending order, were attacks on the political left, Republican elected officials’ responses to election results, China’s International Import Expo, misinformation on electoral fraud across a number of US states, Pfizer’s recent vaccine candidate, photos of the week, and general coronavirus statistics.

 

10-11-2020

 

 

02-11-2020

 

 

27-10-2020

 

 

19-10-2020

 

 

12-10-2020

 

 

05-10-2020

 

 

29-09-2020

 

 

22-09-2020