This post was originally published on this site
The analysis offers a glimpse into the global spread of misinformation about the pandemic
In the midst of fighting misinformation about COVID-19, some fact-checkers have begun the process of analyzing their work to this point.
In Europe, fact-checking organizations Maldita.es, Full Fact, Pagella Politica/Facta, Correctiv, and Agence France-Presse collaborated to study the themes and spread of misinformation across the continent. The report found similar types of misinformation correlated with the virus’s progress through each European country. For example, a hoax about chemical spraying helicopters started in Italy during its initial outbreak and spread across the continent as the virus progressed.
More surprising, said Maldita.es co-founder Clara Jimenez, were the viral hoaxes that did not spread outside each country’s borders.
“The piece of misinformation around WhatsApp and censorship that had a great impact in Spain didn’t appear at all in the rest of the countries,” Jimenez said. She theorized this was due to Spain’s comparatively heavy use of WhatsApp, and the actions of Spanish politicians spreading the misinformation.
In April, supporters of Spain’s conservative Vox party blamed both Maldita.es and fellow Spanish fact-checking organization Newtral.es for WhatsApp’s decision to limit the forwarding of private messages. A study by the Reuters Institute released that same month found that misinformation spread by public figures got considerably more attention.
Spain was not alone in experiencing country-specific misinformation. German fact-checking organization Correctiv debunked a viral hoax about COVID-19 being a ruse to allow more migrants into the country. United Kingdom-based Full Fact shot
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2020/fact-checkers-take-a-look-back-at-their-work-fighting-covid-19/