There is so much misinformation related to COVID-19 that some of it has already been turned into tropes. A good portion of it thrives on social media soil, but almost half of it is also produced by bots.
According to Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Informed Democracy & Social Cybersecurity’s research, 45-60% of Twitter accounts that regularly post false information about COVID-19 are run not by humans, but bots. To conclude this, the center’s experts examined approximately 200 million tweets. They weeded out the automated profiles by scanning for specific quotas, such as too many posts in a short span, or copy-pasted tweets from other accounts, says the Rolling Stone.
More than 100 common false narratives and conspiracy theories about coronavirus — such as the Chinese government creating it in a laboratory or 5G towers spreading it — were singled out as well. The research team did not identify where these bots were located but said that they accounted for about 82% of the top-50 most influential Tweeter users.
Twitter has recently issued a statement saying that it axed more than 2,600 tweets related to COVID-19 and handled more than 4.3 million profiles on Twitter.