The rapid diffusion of fake news: An analysis of content on migration, refugees, and conflict on international fact-checking platforms

Creative Commons License

Olaru G. O.



After the 2016 election campaign of the former United States President Donald Trump in 2016, the concepts of post-truth, disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation gain popularity. This study examines fact-checking efforts by International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) member organizations across ten countries between January to November 2023 focusing on disinformation disseminated on social media platforms. The study was designed as a case study and the content was analyzed with the content analysis approach. The research questions were determined as follows: ‘Which media platforms are more commonly used to disseminate refugee-focused fake news or content?’, ‘Which content types are commonly used to spread fake news/content?’, ‘What are the common topics employed in fake content in these countries between January to November 2023?’ The findings revealed that social media platforms Facebook and X were frequently used to disseminate disinformation and various types of fake news and content. Titles and text-supported video content were the most employed typology in these posts. Across the researched countries, four recurring issues were identified: disinformation about protests in France, fake news related to conflicts, and information about financial aid, opportunities, and accommodation facilities for refugees. Notably, false information on mass protests rapidly spreads alongside fake news in multiple countries.