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Content Analysis of COVID-19 ‘Fakes’ on Social Media in Central Asia 
Karlyga Myssayeva (Al-Farabi Kazakh National University)
Jazgul Ibraimova (Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in Central Asia)
Nozimakhon Davletova (University of World Economy and Diplomacy)
Katoen Faromuzova (NGO Zamon va Jomea)
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Jatin Srivastava (Ohio University)
Karlyga Myssayeva (Al-Farabi Kazakh National University)
Thursday 14 October, 9:15-10:45 (UTC-4)

Long Abstract

This panel will examine the spread of COVID-19 related ‘fakes’ (Dis/misinformation) in Central Asia (CA). In the context of this panel, CA will refer to post-soviet countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The discussion will revolve around the distribution of fake information and its influence among social media users. The panel will provide analysis of the characteristics of COVID-19 ‘fakes’ in comparison to other news materials in terms of format, distribution channels, and distribution frequency. The discussion will also touch on broader issues such as the state of development of the information sphere in CA and the general absence of research-based knowledge on public opinion among internet users in the region.

Panelists will discuss the following questions: What are the key features of ‘fakes’ during the pandemic in CA countries? Does the emergence of social media as an information production and dissemination platform change our understanding of traditional Journalism; how does this apply to regional journalism in CA? What is the nature of influence of COVID-19 ‘fakes’ on societies in CA? What is the state of research on understanding the influence of COVID-19 ‘fakes’ in CA? How can interaction with international partners be used to develop effective fact-checking strategies in CA?

Accepted papers: