Disinformation Pandemic: Case Study of Disinformation Related to Coronavirus

Societies in crises tend to be more suspicious, confused and susceptible to false stories. Lately, this has been amplified because of increasingly chaotic information environment, including the decline of traditional media, enhancement of online social networks, and weaponization of information by extremist groups and certain state actors. In this regard, the current Coronavirus pandemic represents a tremendous challenge. The governments are confronted with tackling not only COVID-19 impact on the public health, but also on the information space where disinformation and misinformation has already caused a lot of confusion in an already critical situation.

Given the above, the goal of this project is to monitor the coverage of coronavirus pandemic on the Czech websites known to be spreading disinformation, misinformation and other contested content with the aim of identifying main narratives, authors and patterns of spreading various messages.

Date of implementation: March – July 2020

The data-gathering is conducted using the >versus< media monitoring tool, developed by the Beacon Project of the International Republican Institute. The Beacon Project supports a stronger and broader transatlantic dialogue on identifying and closing the democracy gaps in our societies exploited by domestic and foreign hostile disinformation campaigns.


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