Islamophobic disinformation, hate speech swamps social media during pandemic – By Burhan Wazir
A series of Twitter hashtags falsely accusing Muslims around the world of deliberately spreading the novel coronavirus has pushed Islamophobic disinformation and hate speech to 170 million users since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to new research.
The report is published by Equality Labs, a New York-based South Asian community advocacy group. It shows that the hashtag #Coronajihad has run rampant on Twitter since late March. Posts featuring the hashtag and a range of anti-Muslim rhetoric have also been shared widely on platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
The organization calculates that more than 293,000 conversations pushing Islamophobic Covid-19 content have taken place on Twitter, where they have generated more than 700,000 points of engagement, including likes, clicks, shares and comments. It has also found that the majority of users creating and sharing such content are young men between the ages of 18 and 34, based in India or the United States.