About 90% of accounts that retweeted pro-Russian, anti-Ukraine messages, such as “the Ukraine government is neo-Nazi,” on the Japanese version of Twitter were found to have earlier retweeted posts opposing the COVID-19 vaccine, a data analysis conducted by Toriumi Fujio, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s graduate school, has found. The results indicate that there is strong correlation between pro-Russia and anti-vax views.
Toriumi took the about 300,000 tweets posted on Twitter from Jan. 1 to March 5 this year and divided them into the following four categories: (1) messages mentioning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; (2) messages opposing the war; (3) messages critical of Russia; and (4) messages calling the Ukraine government “neo-Nazi.”
The analysis confirmed that there were 228 tweets claiming the “Ukraine government is neo-Nazi” and these messages were retweeted a total of 30,342 times from 10,907 accounts. The number of retweets per account was 2.8, and this is higher than that for messages in the other three categories.
A further analysis of the retweets made by accounts that retweeted messages in the four categories found that 87.8% of accounts that retweeted the “Ukraine government is neo-Nazi” retweeted anti-vax messages and 46.9% retweeted messages supporting QAnon. (Abridged)