Recently, a video called “Plandemic” went viral on social media. PolitiFact flagged eight fake or misleading claims it made about COVID-19. YouTube and Facebook removed the video; Twitter issued “unsafe” warnings and blocked relevant hashtags. All of the platforms couched their content moderation decisions in terms of the generic “violations of community standards” language, and expressed concerns that the video could cause “imminent harm” as Facebook put it.
Such swift, draconian decisions assume not just that the content is ricocheting around the internet—indeed, data on trending and sharing easily corroborate that—but that people remember and believe the it. Do they?
To understand both the reach and impact of COVID-19 misinformation, we carried out a pair of surveys examining three prominent categories of fake claims in the media: headlines concerning treatments for the disease; the origins of the virus; and government response to it.
Platforms will be asked by the European Commission to make available monthly reports on their policies and actions to address COVID-19 related disinformation.
El nuevo informe de @EU_Commission sobre la desinformación ec.europa.eu/commission/pre