Magenta Nation – Fakchex


Disinformation—deliberately false news stories commonly called  “fake news”—has grown exponentially over the last decade. It obscures the truth, deludes Americans, and divides us over political and cultural issues. Where is this “fountain of falsehoods” coming from, and how is it spreading?

Foreign Governments. One of the major sources of disinformation content is state-aligned or state-sponsored actors in autocratic regimes. These entities create stories that cast democratic governments and systems in a negative light, fueling dissent with elected governments and sympathy for dictators. A well-studied example is Russia’s Internet Research Agency, which uses large-scale and coordinated efforts to influence situations ranging from American politics to Ukraine.

For-Profit Disinformation Content Providers. Another significant source of disinformation is a widespread private industry of for-profit fake news content producers. Content farms, private firms, and independent scammers in locales ranging from Romania to Bangladesh are hired to create and promote politically-aligned propaganda or take their own initiative to gain ad revenue from coordinating massive networks of fake online accounts that generate engagement.

Wealthy Political Donors. Americans are also part of the disinformation movement. Rich political donors contribute to influence policy and political outcomes with disinformation. Some megadonors for conservative causes have used dark money spending groups and strategies to fund efforts pushing disproven and fake claims that Donald Trump won the 2020 election, as well as voter fraud conspiracy theories.

How Disinformation Spreads. Creating fake news is only the first step in the process: these falsehoods then have to be spread. Social media platforms are highly effective for both gaining attention and making money. Researchers found that Facebook is a major gateway to fake news websites. Fraudsters have created thousands of fake accounts across social media platforms to fuel this process. Hundreds of accounts on platforms including Twitter, Tiktok, and more have garnered hundreds of millions of views for content, as well as millions of engagements. Fake accounts can both visit the sites to drive up metrics, and disseminate and promote the content on the platforms.

By taking advantage of popularity indicators that people tend to link with legitimacy—likes, shares, etc.—and targeting groups or networks focused on specific interests, content can be circulated where it has the most potential to succeed in influencing opinion. Additionally, many fake news operations employ bots—programmed accounts posing as real people—to boost their impact. Bot accounts can be set to continuously post misinformation content, or continuously share and engage with other content, or both.

In response to criticism and pressure from watchdogs, advocates, and policymakers, social media companies have become more active in policing and deplatforming these fake accounts, but it remains an ongoing battle against the sheer scale of these operations and their continued efforts to find new ways to avoid detection or violate legal terms of service.

It pays to be vigilant, especially with what you see on social media. “Google” for legitimate sources and beware especially of faked and AI-generated images and articles. For more guidance on avoiding disinformation, download your copy of “The Consumer’s Guide to Disinformation” here.

Thank you for reading this Fakchex article. Please share this article and join us in the fight to combat disinformation.



Fakchex presents short, fact-based articles and videos on topics about which there is considerable disinformation. It is the only grassroots communication program that helps people personally combat disinformation. Fakchex articles are designed for sharing with people who care about these topics, but may not be aware of the facts OR may not have time to research them on their own. Together, we can combat the powerful forces of disinformation that prevent us from coming together to realistically address our problems and opportunities.

This is a FREE program, open to all.

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