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Malaysia Among Highest In The World For Reliable Covid-19 News On Social Media

Malaysia Among Highest In The World For Reliable Covid-19 News On Social Media

Kirat Kaur

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Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) noted a concurrent outbreak of an infodemic – the over-abundance of information, both accurate and inaccurate, that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.

Curious to quantify the severity of this infodemic globally, the Complex Multilayer Networks Lab of Italy’s Bruno Kessler Foundation together with IULM University of Milan, Italy and Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, USA teamed up and analysed over 100 million public messages on Twitter.

Machine learning techniques were used to quantify the following:

  • Collective Sentiment & Psychology: lexicon-based and rule-based emotional and psychological state
  • Social Bot Pollution: The fraction of activities due to social bots and the exposure of the Twitterverse to unreliable news. Social bots are designed to resemble the appearance of human users and use artificial intelligence to steer online discussions with inaccurate health claims. They also contribute to spam.
  • News Reliability: the fraction of URLs pointing to reliable news and scientific sources

As a result, Malaysia has emerged at No 5 for reliable digital response to the outbreak!

Three main characteristics were observed for each nation’s infodemics, which are:

  1. Native Reliability – news reliability calculated with respect to messages in the country’s native language
  2. Unverified Bot Pollution – pollution due to unverified social bots
  3. Risk index – the exposure of users to messages from unverified social bots

According to these indicators, Malaysia has an impressive 93.11% score for native reliability, while the unverified bot pollution stands at 38.76% with a risk index of 0.033.

The project’s Covid-19 Infodemics Observatory site also highlights Malaysia’s percentage of unreliable facts stands at 9.4%.

Screenshot from Covid-19 Infodemics Observatory.

If you’d like to know more about Malaysia’s infodemics performance, you can check out the site here.

Make sure to follow the Health Ministry’s official Twitter and Facebook pages for verified information on Covid-19.

Stay safe and stay informed, everyone!


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