August 2, 2018  |  Updated February 13, 2019

Issue Brief: The ‘Demand Side’ of the Disinformation Crisis

By Dean Jackson

IN THIS BRIEF:

The cognitive factors which make audiences vulnerable to disinformation

Technological factors driving the consumption and spread of disinformation

Implications of disinformation’s “demand side” for the democratic response

SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR DISINFORMATION

Until recently, most efforts to understand disinformation’s challenge to political and media freedom have focused on the supply of content intended to mislead people and undermine political opposition. Consequently, most efforts to respond to the challenge have focused on exposing sources of disinformation, debunking its narratives, and detailing its distribution.

These efforts are key components of a resilient information space. However, they often fail to appreciate the market logic of disinformation, in which supply meets audience demand for certain types of content. This ‘demand side’ of the disinformation challenge complicates the prevailing model of responses based largely on verification and debunking.

Read more

Sign up for more information