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 22-06-2020 we find:
- The social media distribution network of all coronavirus articles from the top fifteen mainstream news outlets reached 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 8,000 users, while the average article from mainstream sources reached slightly below 4,500 users and the average junk health article reached just over 3,500 users.
- Similarly, all of the total content from all mainstream sources gets the largest amount of total user engagement. But on a per article basis, state-backed news gets almost over 100 engagements, junk health news gets just below 50 engagements, and average articles from mainstream sources receive just under 30 engagements.
- In total, 63% of the engagement with non-mainstream information last week was with state-backed content. Further, 45% of engagements with state-backed media were engagements with Chinese content, whereas 54% was with Russian content.
- Thematically, junk health news sources perpetuated a narrative critical of Black Lives Matter protests for hypocrisy around social distancing measures.
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