17 April 2020
Covid-19 Disinformation & Social Media Manipulation
A range of actors are manipulating the information environment to exploit the COVID-19 crisis for strategic gain. ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is tracking many of these state and non-state actors online, and will occasionally publish investigative, data-driven reporting that will focus on the use of disinformation, propaganda, extremist narratives and conspiracy theories by these actors.
The bulk of ASPI’s data analysis uses our in-house Influence Tracker tool - a machine learning and data analytics capability that draws out insights from multi-language social media datasets. This new tool can ingest data in multiple languages and auto-translate, producing insights on topics, sentiment, shared content, influential accounts, metrics of impact and posting patterns.
The following reports are listed in order of most recent:
This new research highlights the growing significance and impact of Chinese non-state actors on western social media platforms. Across March and April 2020, this loosely coordinated pro-China trolling campaign on Twitter has:
- Harassed and mimicked western media outlets
- Impersonated Taiwanese users in an effort to undermine Taiwan’s position with the World Health Organisation (WHO
- Spread false information about the Covid-19 outbreak
- Joined in pre-existing inauthentic social media campaigns
23 April 2020
Includes case studies on:
- Chinese state-sponsored messaging on Twitter
- Coordinated anti-Taiwan trolling: WHO & #saysrytoTedros
- Russian Covid-19 disinformation in Africa
8-15 April 2020