News Story

Battling misinformation about the Ukraine-Russian war

Harith Alani, Wednesday 09 March 2022 | Annotate
KMi News Image

Modern world conflicts are increasingly influenced by misinformation and propaganda. Martino Mensio from the Social Data Group at KMi collected over 800 claims so far about the Russian invasion of Ukraine that were debunked or flagged as unreliable by many registered fact-checking organisations around the world. Gregoire Burel then began monitoring the appearance of these claims on Twitter and the fact-checks that accompanied them in order to better understand their spread patterns and potential impact. 

So far, Gregoire found that only a small number of live tweets mention the misinforming claims, while tweets containing links to the official fact-checks exceeded 18 thousand. This was based on an exhaustive search of nearly 150 misinforming claims up to 3 March 2022. Despite not being final, the results do reveal a pattern that contrasts with what is typically found in other crises situations, where the spread of false claims far outweighs those of corrective ones.

Professor Harith Alani discussed the research and findings of the group on Bloomberg Newsroom radio from New York on Monday morning. He praised the apparent success of social media in removing inaccurate content from their platforms but acknowledged the potential impact of social media bans within and from Russia. In the interview, Prof Alani also asked why these platforms did not show the same enthusiasm and ability to quickly remove misinformation and block offending accounts in other crises contexts, such as COVID19 or other military conflicts. He argues that this raises a variety of technical and ethical issues that should be incorporated into future research, legislation, and policies. 

The work above was funded by two ongoing projects; HERoS, funded by the European Commission to research behavioural dynamics and misinformation spread during COVID19, and CIMPLE; funded by EPSRC to explore knowledge-driven detection and explainability of misinformation.


Harith Alani Photograph

Harith Alani

KMi Director

Telephone Icon Email Icon Website Icon RDF Icon

LinkedIn Icon SlideShare Icon

Gregoire Burel Photograph

Gregoire Burel

Research Fellow

Telephone Icon Email Icon Website Icon RDF Icon

Twitter Icon LinkedIn Icon

Martino Mensio Photograph

Martino Mensio

PhD Research Student

Telephone Icon Email Icon Website Icon RDF Icon

LinkedIn Icon Facebook Icon SlideShare Icon


Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems

Website Icon


Countering Creative Information Manipulation with Explainable AI

Website Icon

Latest News


View by

Latest Seminar
Dr. Siān Lindley
Microsoft Research Cambridge

Actions and their Consequences: Implicit Interactions with Machine Learned Knowledge Bases

More Details


Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1908 653800

Fax: +44 (0)1908 653169

Email: KMi Support


If you have any comments, suggestions or general feedback regarding our website, please email us at the address below.

Email: KMi Development Team