Study recommends specific policies against disinformation in each country

Study recommends specific policies against disinformation in each country
Study recommends specific policies against disinformation in each country

Policies to combat disinformation must be specific to each country, according to research that analyzed fake news shared on a social network in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom around three topics.

The authors of the study, published this Wednesday in the magazine Plos One, analyze the information replicated by users of the social network Twitter (X, currently) from the aforementioned countries on three specific topics: the coronavirus, vaccines against that virus and Brexit. .

In total, researchers from the University of Venice analyze more than 25 million tweets published between 2019 and 2021 in the four countries in which media information on these topics was shared.

To analyze whether the news comes from reliable sources or not, the authors have used the NewsGuard tool, which scores the media based on their credibility based on nine journalistic criteria.

The general result indicates that almost 2 million tweets of the more than 25 million analyzed shared information from unreliable media on the three topics studied.

But the variations by country are significant: Germany, for example, recorded the highest percentage of news shared from unreliable sources in the three topics studied.

France came in second place, followed by Italy, while the United Kingdom was the country where the least false information on the four topics studied was replicated: of the more than 8 million tweets analyzed in this country, only just over 400,000 replicated media information. not truthful

Researchers see notable differences in the spread of misinformation depending on the topic: Italy, for example, had the lowest proportion of replicas of fake news about the coronavirus, and yet the highest regarding Brexit.

The analysis indicates that the topics that target fake news vary by country, so the authors conclude that policies to combat disinformation cannot be extrapolated and must focus on the topics that generate the most social polarization in each country.

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