COVID-19 Infodemic: A study on the Fragile Five countries

Boyacı Yıldırım M.

Journal of Public Affairs, vol.23, no.1, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pa.2846
  • Journal Name: Journal of Public Affairs
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication & Mass Media Index, Communication Abstracts, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, vLex
  • Keywords: COVID-19, fact-check, infodemic, misinformation, social media
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.During the COVID-19 pandemic, many rumors and conspiracy theories spread in various media outlets. The purpose of this study is to reveal the nature of the misinformation detected by fact check platforms that spread in the Fragile Five countries. To determine the themes of misinformation about COVID-19 and from which media it is disseminated are a possible way to prevent it. The data of the study were obtained from International Fact-checking Network's CoronaVirusFacts database. One thousand seven hundred thirty-four piece of misinformation collected by web scraping method during the period January 24, 2020 to November 14, 2020 and analyzed with MAXQDA Analytics Pro 2020. As a result of the research, it was found that rumors (96.3%) spread more in the Fragile Five countries than conspiracy theories (3.7%). While the main theme of the rumors is about illness (26.9%) and diagnosis-treatment (25%), conspiracy theories are mostly related to the cause of the disease (68.8%). 53.06% of misinformation was spread through the Facebook platform. 15.32% on Twitter; 13.34% on WhatsApp. Misinformation has been heavily false (85.12%) in both rumor and conspiracy theories. In the second place, misleading (10.09%) news spread.