Disinformation on coronavirus spread by Russian and Chinese authorities and calculated on the denial of democracy is gaining in importance in Europe, more obedience on social media than the prestigious press, according to an Oxford Internet Institute report published on Monday.
The texts of Russian and Chinese government media written in French and German are read and forwarded on Facebook and Twitter more often than articles of newspapers such as French "Le Monde" or German "Der Spiegel”, according to the document.
The subject of the report authors' research were such Russian media as Sputnik agency or RT and Chinese television – Xinhua agency, China Global Television Network (CGTN) and CRI radio.
“Critic virus information has always been a critique of Western democracies and conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus,” 'explains the Oxford Internet Institute.
The analysis of Internet users' involvement in tracking such content consisted of counting how often they "like" them on Facebook and forward them, or comment on Twitter and retweet.
“In general, the transmission of all this information is: ‘democracy is on the verge of collapse’," Jonathan Bright, an Oxford Internet Institute researcher, said.
A study of Russian and Chinese disinformation cultivated via English-language versions of their government media, conducted in Oxford in April, showed that some propaganda articles involved internet users 10 times more than BBC information, for example, AFP reports.