There is a litany of online companies that sell their ability to create fake social media profiles. While this goes against the Terms of Service of every social media platform, the use of these profile generators has allowed billions of fake accounts to be created and then used by national and foreign entities. Adding to this mix the ability to create websites that have the appearance of official news, the situation empowers individuals with alternative agendas to create fake news, send it out to fake profiles, and then dissipate it throughout the social media platforms using psychographics to locate those that will believe and share.
How It Works
Foreign intelligence agencies and in particular, Russian Intelligence has devoted decades to manipulating American public opinion as well as causing distrust in government. Part of their plans have included creating and supporting a variety of organizations whose purpose was to appear political or social, but with an agenda to undermine. Each of these organizations had websites as well as fake social media profiles and shared information to real individuals, who then joined and shared with like-minded friends.
Attention to this enormous problem became national news when a Senate committee interviewed Mark Zuckerberg about the blatant out-of-control acceptance of fake profiles and fake news sources on Facebook and potential impact on the 2016 American Elections. Since that time, Facebook has removed over 1.6 billion false Facebook accounts.