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
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.