In times of a pandemic, what harm can social media posts actually cause? During Covid-19, it seems they can actually do quite a lot. From messages arguing that bleach can cure Covid-19 to ones that show the weaknesses of the West in dealing with the crisis, some of the information circulating on social media has been problematic to governments and sanitary organizations.
Whilst more efforts are needed on the part of platforms to deal with illegal and dangerous information, and to reduce amplification mechanisms, public authorities also need to raise their awareness of the interest online communities have in hostile narratives. This study by Institut Montaigne and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, based on data collected by Linkfluence, shows that both influencers gathered around far-right and far-left themes are interested in anti-Europe narratives, however the first are also interested in pro-authoritarian narratives. Successful influence messages use these interests to circulate in specific communities.