(Dis)information wars

Phone displaying X with disinformation words in background of photo
Shutterstock / JRdes
Editor's note:

This is a Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets working paper.


With the unprecedented rise of internet access across the globe, social media platforms have emerged as prominent vehicles for displaying dissent. In response, numerous entities engage in spreading fake news on these platforms. We focus on a specific form of disinformation supply on social media—disinformation wars: the intentional spread of fake news while pretending to be an ordinary account. We demonstrate that this new form of disinformation supply is considerably more effective in spreading fake news on X, formerly known as Twitter, compared to traditional propaganda. We then propose a novel approach to preempt the spread by assigning a disinformation score to accounts and assess the effectiveness of the score disclosure policy in limiting the spread of disinformation on the platform.

Download the full working paper here.