The type "community spread" has the largest number of fact-checking reports. The content mainly describes the impact of the epidemic; for example, exaggerating the impact with suicides or protests caused by the epidemic, by claiming that a certain location was infected with the virus for the first time, or by accusing some specific races spreading the virus. According to the result, 1 out of 4 disinformation is on this topic.
"Coffins", using pictures of piles of coffins to start a rumor about many people having died from COVID-19 in that area.
"Case", claiming a place had the first COVID-19 confirmed case.
"Images", using various irrelevant pictures to exaggerate the impact of the epidemic.
"Venezuela", claiming that the Italians felt "money is useless for saving lives" and threw money on the streets. But the original story happened in Venezuela and has nothing to do with COVID-19.
"Riots", claiming that insufficient food caused riots in London, but in fact, it embezzled an old video.
We can often see "authorities" in the disinformation. The authorities make the disinformation persuasive. The content of the type "Public Authority Action/Policy" claims to be the state policies or WHO recommendations. It also exaggerates the content of policies. The number of this type ranks second.
"UNICEF", claiming that the The United Nations Children's Fund recommended a series of measures to avoid infections, including drinking hot water and not eating ice cream.
"WHO", World Health Organization is the most frequently cited authority in the COVID-19 disinformation, including various remedies or the latest news on epidemics.
"Military", claiming that the government would mobilize the military to take more stringent prevention measures.
The third in number is the most dangerous topic of disinformation, "General medical advice and virus characteristics". This kind of disinformation rumored that various remedies can cure COVID-19. People tried wrong remedies and died. For instance, more than 2,000 people in Iran were poisoned and 244 people died after drinking toxic alcohol.
There is no effective drugs for COVID-19, which makes this type of disinformation keep spreading rampantly.
"Cure", the most common word in this type of disinformation, claiming certain food or therapy could cure COVID-19, like "vitamin", "coffee", "tea", "garlic".
The type "prominent actors" is about talks or acts of celebrities, politicians, and companies. They often claim that celebrities were infected by COVID-19, or claim a company was offering discounts due to the epidemic. For example, Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese actor Jackie Chan have rumors of being infected. The number of disinformation in this type ranks fourth.
"Denied", the most common word in this type in the fact-checking reports. The disinformation claims celebrities have been infected, or they donate money, etc. But none of these things happened.
For instance, the Vatican "pope" is rumored to be infected. The Portuguese football player "ronaldo" has been declared to donate his house for hospital use.
The type "other incidents caused by COVID-19" means some incidents happened because of the epidemic, but not directly related to the virus, such as political struggles between politicians, frauds happened when people need quarantine, or nature restoration since many countries stop business activities.
"Hantavirus", claiming that a new virus of human-to-human transmission emerged in China after COVID-19. But the hantavirus has actually been around for a long time.
"Mosque", claiming Chinese President Xi visited the mosque and prayed for the country.
"Rob", claiming somebody would come to the door to provide free masks. When you put on the mask, you would fall into a coma, and the gangster would rob you at that time. This is a variant of an ancient rumor.
The type "virus transmission" of disinformation is mainly spreading rumors about the various ways of virus transmission. For example, claiming the virus may spread through unshaved beards and newspapers. Or, claiming that do not eat seafood because some countries discard infected bodies on the beach.
For example, they claim that coronavirus could infect "animals" and "pets". Or coronavirus was found in "broiler" chicken.
The types "conspiracies", "explanation of virus origins" and "the epidemic is not serious" often show up in the same piece of disinformation. These types of disinformation claim that the coronavirus has long existed, the COVID-19 epidemic has been predicted, or someone is behind the epidemic. They also imply that COVID-19 epidemic is not serious by comparing with the death numbers of other illnesses like flu or AIDS.
These types of disinformation also relate to the argument about "the origins of virus" between China and the USA. A research finds some disinformation are related to the Information war initiated by China.
For example, in type "Conspiracies",
"Nostradamus", a French astrologer in the 1500s. He left a collection of prophecies in poems. Some researchers saw historical events that occurred in the "future" from these short poems, such as the French Revolution, the rise of Hitler and so on. COVID-19 is included.
"Predicted", claiming that COVID-19 has been predicted to happen. Beside astrologers, novels, TV series or "The Simpsons" have predicted it.
"5G", China launched the first 5G networks in last December, which coincided with the rise of COVID-19. People with bad intentions made the rumor that virus spread through 5G base stations. Some 5G base stations in the UK were destroyed because of the rumor.
"Bill Gates", who is rumored behind the COVID-19. The disinformation claims that he created the virus for the huge profits of the vaccine, or to reduce the world population.
"Laboratory", claiming that COVID-19 is a man-made biological weapon in a Chinese laboratory.
And in type "The epidemic is not serious", "flu" is the most common word. The disinformation uses the death number of flu to imply that COVID-19 epidemic is not that serious. The disinformation also claims COVID-19 is just a "cold".
The type "vaccine development and availability" claims about the development of vaccines. Many countries claim that they have successfully developed a vaccine for COVID-19, but it is false, because no vaccine is ever developed successfully to date.
"Public preparedness" refers to people hoarding or purchasing materials, or observing (or not observing) government regulations. For example, embezzle an old video to claim that people rush into the supermarket in panic to buy goods, or photos of empty shelves in the supermarket.
"Developed", claiming the progress of vaccine development, or claiming the vaccine has been developed successfully.
"Senegal", claiming 7 children died because of the vaccine experiment in Senegal.
"Supermarket", using photos of empty shelves in the supermarket or a crowd rushing into the supermarket, to create fear of supply shortage.