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Fake News on Social Media During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Fake News on Social Media During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Author(s): Claudiu Coman, Dorina Buică, Adriana Marian, Cristel Iosu, Maria Cristina Bularca
Subject(s): Media studies, Methodology and research technology, Crowd Psychology: Mass phenomena and political interactions
Published by: POLIROM & Universitatea Bucureşti - Dept. de Sociologie şi Asistenţă Socială
Keywords: fake news;Facebook;pandemic;recognition;vulnerable groups;

Summary/Abstract: Together with the Coronavirus pandemic, a pandemic of information also emerged. The fast development of technology and the diversification of communication channels, also made social media a favorable environment for the spread of fake news. Even though many platforms started integrating tools to help people identify false information, today is still challenging to combat and recognize the varied forms of fake news. Even more, in times of crisis, being able to distinguish between false and true information becomes very important, especially in the cases of vulnerable groups that are more prone to believing and sharing false information. The purpose of our paper is to analyze the types of fake news shared on the Facebook pages of Romanian TV channels during the pandemic, in order to create a typology of false information and facilitate the recognition of such news. Using content analysis as a research method we analyzed the posts of 5 TV channels in Romania, for a period of one month. Their posts were analyzed according to seven types of fake news: satire/parody, misleading content, imposter content, fabricated content, false connections, false context, and manipulated content. Our findings revealed that most posts contained misleading content which took the form of clickbait, and that the channels din not have fabricated or imposter content. Therefore, while describing both the false information posted on Facebook and the real news, our paper presents a typology of fake news, and provides information on how people could identify social media fake news more easily.

  • Issue Year: XX/2021
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 59-71
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English