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 08-06-2020 we find:
- The social media distribution network of all coronavirus articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached well over three billion social media users this week, achieving much greater distribution than state-backed and junk health news sources. But the average article from state-backed sources reached over six thousand users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached four thousand users and the average junk health article reached three thousand users.
- Similarly, all content from all mainstream sources gets the largest amount of total user engagement. But on a per article basis, state-backed content gets over 75 engagements, junk health news gets almost 50 engagements, and average articles from mainstream sources get under 25 engagements.
- Summed together, 29% of the engagement with non-mainstream information last week was with state-backed content, and 95% of engagement with state-backed content was engagements with Chinese and Russian media content.
- Thematically, junk health news sources co-opted the George Floyd protests to fuel their existing narratives.
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