An infodemic—an outpouring of information, including misleading and also fake news—is accompanying the current pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. In the absence of valid therapeutic approaches, behavioral responses may seriously affect the social dynamics of contagion, so the infodemic may cause confusion and disorientation in the public, leading to possible individually and socially harmful choices. This new phenomenon requires specific modeling efforts to better understand the complex intertwining of the epidemic and infodemic components of a pandemic crisis, with a view to building an integrative public health approach. We propose three models, from epidemiology to game theory, as potential candidates for the onset of the infodemics and statistically assess their accuracy in reproducing real infodemic waves observed in a data set of 390 million tweets collected worldwide. Our results show that evolutionary game-theory models are the most suitable ones to reproduce the observed infodemic modulations around the onset of the local epidemic wave. Furthermore, we find that the number of confirmed COVID-19 reported cases in each country and worldwide are driving the modeling dynamics with opposite effects.

Epidemic proximity and imitation dynamics drive infodemic waves during the {COVID}-19 pandemic

Oriol Artime;Nicola Castaldo;Pierluigi Sacco;Riccardo Gallotti;Manlio De Domenico
2022

Abstract

An infodemic—an outpouring of information, including misleading and also fake news—is accompanying the current pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. In the absence of valid therapeutic approaches, behavioral responses may seriously affect the social dynamics of contagion, so the infodemic may cause confusion and disorientation in the public, leading to possible individually and socially harmful choices. This new phenomenon requires specific modeling efforts to better understand the complex intertwining of the epidemic and infodemic components of a pandemic crisis, with a view to building an integrative public health approach. We propose three models, from epidemiology to game theory, as potential candidates for the onset of the infodemics and statistically assess their accuracy in reproducing real infodemic waves observed in a data set of 390 million tweets collected worldwide. Our results show that evolutionary game-theory models are the most suitable ones to reproduce the observed infodemic modulations around the onset of the local epidemic wave. Furthermore, we find that the number of confirmed COVID-19 reported cases in each country and worldwide are driving the modeling dynamics with opposite effects.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/331472
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