July 31, 2018  |  Updated August 14, 2018

How Far can They Go? Quantifying the Spread of Disinformation Narratives

By Katarína Klingová, Lóránt Győri and Jonáš Syrovátka

The murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová shocked not only Slovak society but also the wider international community, as demonstrated by the extensive coverage of their deaths in media outlets around the world. Closer to home, the assassination of the investigative reporter and fiancé resulted in the publication of 12773 articles in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia up to 1 May 2018. The following chart provides an overview of the intensity of articles produced in these countries during our monitoring period.

As is common with such sensitive and highly-publicised issues, a lot of disinformation narratives were  spread about the murders and peaceful protests that occurred in cities throughout Slovakia in the weeks that followed.[2] These narratives also spread from Slovakia to its neighbours, specifically the Czech Republic and Hungary. Out of 12773 articles, 1922 included the terms “Ján Kuciak” and “protests” and 174 included “Ján Kuciak” and “(Euro)maidan”.[3]

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