Cornell University researchers analyzing 38 million English-language articles about the pandemic found that President Trump was the largest driver of the “infodemic.”
WASHINGTON — Of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods seeding the internet on the coronavirus, one common thread stands out: President Trump.
That is the conclusion of researchers at Cornell University who analyzed 38 million articles about the pandemic in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Mr. Trump made up nearly 38 percent of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic” — falsehoods involving the pandemic.
The study, to be released Thursday, is the first comprehensive examination of coronavirus misinformation in traditional and online media.
— Credits & Context
Sarah Evanega, Mark Lynas, Jordan Adams, Karinne Smolenyak. The Cornell Alliance for Science, Department of Global Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Cision Global Insights, Ann Arbor, MI. Corresponding author: [email protected]
The COVID-19pandemic has unfolded alongside what the World Health Organization has termed an “infodemic” of misinformation. This study identifies and analyzes the most prominent topics of COVID-related misinformation that emerged in traditional media between January 1 and May 26, 2020 based on a total sample of over 38 million articles published in English-language media around the world. To our knowledge, our analysis is the first comprehensive survey of the traditional and online media landscape on this issue. We found that media mentions of US President Donald Trump within the context of COVID-19 misinformation made up by far the largest share of the infodemic. Trump mentions comprised 37.9% of the overall misinformation conversation, well ahead of any other topics. We conclude that the President of the United States was likely the largest driver of the COVID-19misinformation“infodemic”. Only 16.4% of the misinformation conversation was “fact- checking” in nature, suggesting that the majority of COVID misinformation is conveyed by the media without question or correction.
Source – New York Times. Available at https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/evanega-et-al-coronavirus-misinformation-submitted-07-23-20-1/080839ac0c22bca8/full.pdf