The Scamdemic Conspiracy Theory and Twitter’s Failure to Moderate COVID-19 Misinformation

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Abstrakt

During the past few years, social media platforms have been criticized for reacting slowly to users distributing misinformation and potentially dangerous conspiracy theories. Despite policies that have been introduced to specifically curb such content, this paper demonstrates how conspiracy theorists have thrived on Twitter during the COVID-19 pandemic and managed to push vaccine and health related misinformation without getting banned. We examine a dataset of approximately 8200 tweets and 8500 Twitter users participating in discussions around the conspiracy term Scamdemic. Furthermore, a subset of active and influential accounts was identified and inspected more closely and followed for a two-month period. The findings suggest that while bots are a lesser evil than expected, a failure to moderate the non-bot accounts that spread harmful content is the primary problem, as only 12.7% of these malicious accounts were suspended even after having frequently violated Twitter’s policies using easily identifiable conspiracy terminology.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelProceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Antal sider10
UdgivelsesstedHonolulu
ForlagHawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)
Publikationsdato2022
ISBN (Elektronisk)9780998133157
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2022
BegivenhedThe 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences : HISS 2022 - Wailea, USA
Varighed: 3 jan. 20226 jan. 2022
Konferencens nummer: 55
https://hicss.hawaii.edu/

Konference

KonferenceThe 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Nummer55
Land/OmrådeUSA
ByWailea
Periode03/01/202206/01/2022
Internetadresse
NavnProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN1060-3425

Emneord

  • Adversarial coordination in collaboration and social media systems
  • Covid-19
  • Misinformation
  • Network analysis
  • Twitter

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