COVID-19 Infodemic: Analysis of the Spread and Reach of Misinformation
Devashree A. Joshi

Devashree A. Joshi, Software Developer, Data Analyst and Digital Marketer based in Pune, Maharashtra, India. 

Manuscript received on January 15, 2021. | Revised Manuscript received on January 21, 2021. | Manuscript published on January 30, 2021. | PP: 195-201 | Volume-9 Issue-5, January 2021. | Retrieval Number: 100.1/ijrte.E5260019521 | DOI: 10.35940/ijrte.E5260.019521
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Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the circulation of misinformation and fake news has generated lot of fact discrepancies and scientific oversights. Our research aims to comprehensively assess the spread of misinformation regarding COVID-19 and analyze its reach across demographic parameters like age group, gender and country of residence. Data Analysis has been performed using various open-source technologies like Python, Tableau, R Studio by generating diverse visual plots and Word Clouds. For experimental purposes, we considered India and USA as countries of focus and the data was collected accordingly. Furthermore, an independent, original Survey has been designed and conducted to trace the reach of viral, verbatim misinformation articles in both the countries. We studied the misinformation data across parameters like – misinformation types, motives and medium of spread. Our research proved to be of practical relevance, and it is gauged to be beneficial to strategize mitigation measures required to be enforced in not just COVID-19 pandemic like situations but also in various other fields where the misinformation problem persists. 
Keywords: Misinformation, COVID-19 misinformation, fake news, disinformation, survey analytics, big-data analytics, visual analytics