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

As the 2020 election enters its final phases, it feels like a lot could go wrong in the United States. Reports warn that hackers from Russia and China are targeting both parties, while the fringe conspiracy movement QAnon slips into the mainstream and possibly influences voters. And millions of people are talking about a different […]

This year, with an expected surge of mail-in ballots due to the pandemic, we may not know anything definitive for days. As my colleague Barton Gellman wrote, there is a blueprint for Trump to never concede should any shred of doubt remain about the outcome. Television executives have no “gentleman’s agreement” about how to handle […]

Two years ago, most Americans knew nothing about QAnon, the ever-growing, diffuse, and violent movement devoted to a loosely connected set of conspiracy theories, most of which tie back to the idea that Donald Trump is leading a holy war against a high-powered cabal of child traffickers, some of whom drink blood. But at the time, it […]

…the idea of a single “Russian playbook” appears again and again in discussions of social media manipulations. Politicians, news outlets and commentators have used the phrase over and over for the past three years. It has mutated into an amorphous concept that can accompany almost any news cycle: Black Lives Matter protests should be wary […]

Investigations by news organizations, US intelligence agencies, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, and of course by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, all reached the same conclusion: The Russian government meddled in the 2016 presidential elections. Some observers have gone so far as to conclude that Russia’s machinations were essential to Trump’s victory. By taking advantage of social media’s tendency to aggregate and […]

Featured Scholars

Associate Professor, Sociology, Tufts University
Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University
Harvard Law School, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
Doctoral Researcher, King's College London