All FSI News News September 19, 2022

This salesperson does not exist: How tactics from political influence operations on social media are deployed for commercial lead generation

Published in Harvard Kennedy School's Misinformation Review
collage of deep fake faces on linked in profiles

Research in the disinformation field has documented recurring tactics in political influence operations on social media (e.g., Bradshaw et al., 2020; Goldstein & Grossman, 2021; Martin et al., 2020). However, these deceptive online practices are also used in other areas, including for business purposes (Stanford Internet Observatory, 2020). In this study, we outline how tactics used for political disinformation campaigns—fake persona creation, AI-generated imagery, and outsourcing—have similar or analogous benefits in the economic sphere.

Renée DiResta

Research Manager, SIO
renee diresta

Josh Goldstein

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Internet Observatory (2021-2022)
Josh Goldstein

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Arrows pointing to Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries

Unheard Voice

Stanford Internet Observatory collaborated with Graphika to analyze a large network of accounts removed from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in our latest report. This information operation likely originated in the United States and targeted a range of countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.