May 20, 2022

Coronavirus Misinformation Weekly Briefing (Social Media Misinformation About the WHO Coronavirus)

From the Oxford Internet Institute/Oxford University:

  • Given the evolving nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—and public understanding of the crises—we provide a weekly briefing about the spread of coronavirus information across multiple social media platforms. For the week leading up to 20-04-2020 we find:
  • Content from state-backed media and junk health sources is distributed to hundreds of millions of social media accounts, and the average junk health news article about coronavirus receives about the same distribution as average articles from the BBC, Guardian, New York Times, and Washington Post.
  • In total, articles produced by junk health news sources this week were engaged with over nine million times; though articles from state backed media sources inspired the most engagement on average.
  • Thematically, this week’s junk health news and information focused on (1) accusing the WHO of incompetence, providing false information, and Chinese bias, and (2) supporting US President Trump’s withdrawal of funding from the WHO.

Direct to Full Text Briefing
3 pages; PDF.

See Also: Coronavirus News and Information on YouTube: A Content Analysis of Popular Search Terms

See Also: Coronavirus Coverage by State-Backed English-Language News Sources

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.