COVID-19 on Social Media: Analyzing Misinformation in Twitter Conversations

by   Karishma Sharma, et al.

The ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic highlights the interconnected-ness of our present-day globalized world. With social distancing policies in place, virtual communication has become an important source of (mis)information. As increasing number of people rely on social media platforms for news, identifying misinformation has emerged as a critical task in these unprecedented times. In addition to being malicious, the spread of such information poses a serious public health risk. To this end, we design a dashboard to track misinformation on popular social media news sharing platform - Twitter. The dashboard allows visibility into the social media discussions around Coronavirus and the quality of information shared on the platform, updated over time. We collect streaming data using the Twitter API from March 1, 2020 to date and identify false, misleading and clickbait contents from collected Tweets. We provide analysis of user accounts and misinformation spread across countries. In addition, we provide analysis of public sentiments on intervention policies such as "#socialdistancing" and "#workfromhome", and we track topics, and emerging hashtags and sentiments over countries. The dashboard maintains an evolving list of misinformation cascades, sentiments and emerging trends over time, accessible online at Keywords. COVID-19, Misinformation, Fake News, Social Media


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