On 28 June 2022, Dr. Rashid Gabdulhakov, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Media and Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy, delivered a public lecture on " 'I saw it on the internet!' Sources, Mechanisms, and Impacts of COVID-19 Dis/misinformation on Labour Migrants from Uzbekistan." First, Dr. Gandulhakov briefed the participants on the methodology part of his study and offered an overview of Melissa Wall, Madeline Otis Campbell, and Dana Janbek’s theoretical conceptualization of 'information precarity' and applied it to the case of Uzbek labour migrants to Russia. Dr. Gabdulhakov provided a comparison of migrants and refugees and indicated similarities between the two groups such as leaving home to work in another country as the only path to survival, as well as facing xenophobic and nationalist biases in a host country. Furthermore, Dr. Rashid Gabdulhakov presented his findings on the online social milieux of Uzbek labour migrants from Uzbekistan to Russia as potential sources of misleading information related to COVID-19. He suggested some examples of issues Uzbek labour migrants had to face because of misleading information on social media. He provided an overview of the content analysis of discussions and posts shared on thematic groups across social media platforms such as Odnoklassniki, VKontakte, Facebook, and Telegram. He identified five COVID-19-related narrative clusters: 'the remedy,' 'practical information,' 'the news,' 'asking for help,' and 'conspiracies and religion,' and elaborated on each of the narratives. Dr. Gabdulhakov concluded that COVID-19- related information spread among social media groups appears to have been dangerously misleading.
Research paper on " 'I saw it on the internet!' Sources, Mechanisms, and Impacts of COVID-19 Dis/misinformation on Labour Migrants from Uzbekistan" is available here.