Analysis of misinformation during the COVID-19 outbreak in China: cultural, social and political entanglements

by   Yan Leng, et al.
The University of Texas at Austin

COVID-19 resulted in an infodemic, which could erode public trust, impede virus containment, and outlive the pandemic itself. The evolving and fragmented media landscape is a key driver of the spread of misinformation. Using misinformation identified by the fact-checking platform by Tencent and posts on Weibo, our results showed that the evolution of misinformation follows an issue-attention cycle, pertaining to topics such as city lockdown, cures, and preventions, and school reopening. Sources of authority weigh in on these topics, but their influence is complicated by peoples' pre-existing beliefs and cultural practices. Finally, social media has a complicated relationship with established or legacy media systems. Sometimes they reinforce each other, but in general, social media may have a topic cycle of its own making. Our findings shed light on the distinct characteristics of misinformation during the COVID-19 and offer insights into combating misinformation in China and across the world at large.


Cultural-aware Machine Learning based Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Understanding the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, such as who and why, is ve...

The Cultural Evolution of National Constitutions

We explore how ideas from infectious disease and genetics can be used to...

Exploratory Analysis of a Social Media Network in Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

During the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple aspects of human life were subjec...

Classifying COVID-19 vaccine narratives

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is widespread, despite governments' informati...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset