Workshop Proceedings of the 17th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

Workshop: TrueHealth 2023: Workshop on Combating Health Misinformation for Social Wellbeing

DOI: 10.36190/2023.45

Published: 2023-06-01
A Large-Scale Comparative Study of Accurate COVID-19 Information versus Misinformation
Yida Mu, Ye Jiang, Freddy Heppell, Iknoor Singh, Carolina Scarton, Kalina Bontcheva, Xingyi Song

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an infodemic where an overwhelming amount of COVID-19 related content was being disseminated at high velocity through social media. This made it challenging for citizens to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate information about COVID-19. This motivated us to carry out a comparative study of the characteristics of COVID-19 misinformation versus those of accurate COVID-19 information through a large-scale computational analysis of over 242 million tweets. The study makes comparisons alongside four key aspects: 1) the distribution of topics, 2) the live status of tweets, 3) language analysis and 4) the spreading power over time. An added contribution of this study is the creation of a COVID-19 misinformation classification dataset. Finally, we demonstrate that this new dataset helps improve misinformation classification by more than 9% based on average F1 measure.