Producers of Disinformation

Who creates disinformation, and why? In some cases, the motivations seem strictly economic, while other campaigns have obvious political motives. However, it seems increasingly difficult to draw clear distinctions between the two, suggesting that these boundaries are shifting. This literature review draws on recent scholarship on case studies from India, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela. 

Live Research Review

Who creates disinformation, and why? In some cases, the motivations seem strictly economic, while other campaigns have obvious political motives. However, it seems increasingly difficult to draw clear distinctions between the two, suggesting that these boundaries are shifting. This literature review draws on recent research on case studies from India, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela.

Teaching & Learning

Explore course modules, handouts, teaching tools and syllabi about dis- and misinformation.

Latest News on Producers of Disinformation

In September 2020, Facebook (which owns Instagram) committed to “tackling climate misinformation” and announced it would apply warning labels to both Facebook and Instagram posts containing climate change misinformation. Despite Facebook’s announcement, a First Draft analysis identified thousands of Instagram posts associated with the hashtags #climatehoax, #globalwarminghoax, #globalwarmingisahoax, #carbonkleptomania, #globalcooling, #climatechangehoax, #globalwarmingisfake, #noclimateemergency and #climatescam […]

In the midst of the heated U.S. presidential race last summer, with hypercharged scrutiny of partisan propaganda on social media, Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg received a letterfrom a group of U.S. senators led by Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren that had nothing to do with elections. They were angry about a year-old piece of […]

When China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, summoned journalists to the Chinese embassy last week, this was not an occasion for polite exchanges on a troubled relationship between Beijing and Canberra. Cheng was intent on communicating a forceful message to Australian reporters that China was intent on fighting back against what it regards as a […]

Propaganda analysis has long focused on revealing the rhetorical tricks and hidden special interests behind persuasion campaigns. But what are critics to do when propaganda is obvious? In the late 1930s the Institute for Propaganda Analysis faced this question while investigating the public politicking of A&P, then the largest retailer in the United States. While […]

Many of the stories that pundits, journalists, and scholars tell about disinformation begin with the 2016 US presidential election and focus on the role of social media platforms in spreading and generating false content. At their worst, these narratives imply that in the past, everyone shared the same sense of what was true and what […]

Featured Scholars

Associate Professor, Global Digital Media, UMass Amherst
Harvard Law School, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
Doctoral Researcher, King's College London