Conspiracy theories during Covid 19: The case of Denmark

Mette Bengtsson, Anna Schjøtt Hansen, Jannie Møller Hartley, Jakob Bæk Kristensen, Eva Mayerhöffer, Tim Ramsland

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

Abstract

This white paper investigates the nature and prevalence of conspiratorial thinking in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark. It aims to qualify the current debate regarding conspiracy theories in this context by approaching the phenomenon from multiple methodological angles.
Danish-language Facebook posts serve as the point of departure for this study. First, the paper explores the conspiratorial rhetoric in Danish Facebook posts to understand how people who believe in conspiracies have taken part in the online debate. Second, it analyses how content labelled as misinformation has spread across online platforms and whether content that can be considered conspiratorial has played a special role. Third, it examines whether the amount of conspiratorial content has increased during the pandemic in selected
corona-critical Facebook groups. The paper does not assume a particular normative standpoint when engaging with the data; rather, it seeks to provide a nuanced and empirically grounded assessment of the nature and prevalence of conspiratorial thinking in Denmark in terms of both quality and quantity.
This white paper is a joint effort by researchers affiliated with the DataPublics and Alter-Publics projects as well as the Center for News Research at Roskilde University. We thank Thomas Hedin and the entire staff at TjekDet for their insights regarding their fact-checking routines and the assistance with data
collection. We also express our gratitude to the Illum Foundation for their financial support of this study.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRoskilde
PublisherRoskilde Universitet
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print) 978-87-995360-8-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Conspiracy
  • Corona
  • Facebook
  • Network Analysis
  • Content analysis

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