Investigators across Indiana University are working on important research and resources to offer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, we’re focusing on how the IUNI partner project, the Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe), is providing important resources for tracking misinformation and coordinated campaigns spreading around COVID-19.
OSoMe, led by IUNI Advisory Council Member Filippo Menczer (IUB Informatics), provides a set of tools anyone can employ to study the spread and impact of misinformation across social media.
Why are these tools important right now?
In one recent tweet, OSoMe showed the cooccurrences between #COVID19 and other hashtags in the Interactive Network Graph tool, allowing users to see the most prevalent hashtags and most popular conversations surrounding COVID-19.
Twitter user Janelle Bludorn said she saw some concerning activity around physician assistants (PAs) requesting full practice authority as licensed independent practitioners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bludorn used Botometer to find that many accounts embracing the hashtag #PAsNeedFullPracticeAuthority displayed high bot-like qualities, meaning there’s likely a network of bots using COVID-19 to influence this particular campaign.
Beyond this example, there is a potential for Twitter users to take advantage of the nonstop news coverage and attention paid to COVID-19 by creating coordinated campaigns or amplifying misinformation. If you’re interested in how misinformation may be spreading during the pandemic, be sure to check out OSoMe’s tools here.
Are you doing work related to COVID-19 and networks at Indiana University? Let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to highlight it here and follow your work. Want to see how else IUNI affiliates are helping during the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out our posts about YY Ahn and Brea Perry.