State-backed COVID-19 disinfo spreads faster and farther than local news outlets in 4 languages

Questionable stories on COVID-19 from state-backed outlets in Russia, China, Turkey and Iran are being shared more widely than reporting by major news organizations around the world, according to Oxford analysts. French, German, Spanish and English news sites see far less social engagement than these foreign-originated ones in their languages.

The study is part of ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 disinformation campaigns by the Computational Propaganda Project. The group found that major outlets like Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pais are being out-shared four or five to one in some metrics by content from Russia Today, China Radio International and other state-backed organizations.

Earlier reports focused on English-language sharing of this type of media, which can be generally described as fact-adjacent with a strong emphasis on certain narratives.

The repeated finding was that although mainstream news outlets have an overall stronger presence, state-backed and junk news is way ahead in engagement per post or article. In the latest report it is shown that on average, mainstream articles collect about 25 engagements per post, while state-backed items get 125. When multiplied by millions of users and followers, that becomes an enormous discrepancy.

Article URL : https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/01/state-backed-covid-19-disinfo-spreads-faster-and-farther-than-local-news-outlets-in-4-languages/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAC8sAdtOUwI5Bd5ukeTrAftlgwoIPFw8UtEQjFgFm3BQHqzh0SZwNo_SxZNGouKpxEZbEB9jopW62cAMnwM01-qgrvU-eJUHLRIB8r6IGAs4VtPfIhcOIbWxt2kVp44RduvpKciUbiLCw5xqg6d_TEugovS2KXAwE9ZXNc-1o3Oq

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