Propaganda as a Service: Addressing the Economics Behind Global Disinformation Engines

Propaganda as a Service: Addressing the Economics Behind Global Disinformation Engines

This IDC Perspective examines how the global market for political disinformation is growing rapidly while leaving chaos, mistrust, and revolutionary rumblings in its wake. The motive is money for some disinformation creators, while others have political objectives. The most successful generators of false news use large networks of pop-up news sites and bot networks to help echo sentiments and increase pass-along rates. These types of "false information generation" activities can and should be monitored and mitigated by governments.Online propaganda is a rapidly growing problem. Broad propaganda penetration is achieved by following a specific set of steps. Government agencies need to understand these steps, and the economics behind them. "Propaganda as a service is readily available across the globe," said Shawn P. McCarthy, research director, IDC Government Insights. "Understanding how these services are funded, and how they use a combination of pop-up news sites, traffic-driving bots, and other techniques, is the first step toward helping governments mitigate the threat."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

Executive Snapshot
Situation Overview
Online Propaganda Is Not Just Increasing, It's Exploding
Reliable, High-Quality News Costs Money — That's a Problem
Using Fake Social Media Accounts to Drive Traffic to Fake News Sites
The Service Providers for Hire
Examples of Propaganda as a Service
A Fake News Hot Spot
The "Unaccountable News" Conundrum
Accountability Is Tough When You Can't Follow the Money
Using AI to Recognize and Flag False News
Using AI to Make Content Decisions
Long-Term Challenges
Advice for the Technology Buyer
Tapping the Contractor Community for Help
Websites That Review News Accuracy
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