Episode 7: Misinformation is a Side Hustle

Misinformation has real world consequences. We saw that on January 6, 2021. But what if I told you that there is a whole industry of laborers paid to create misinformation as a side hustle. What if I told you that misinformation is created halfway across the world in order to get people to take one side or another in a celebrity trial or to stop the certification of an election.

For more information about research-based media by Axis Mundi Media visit: www.axismundi.us

For more information about public scholarship by the Institute for Religion, Media, and Civic Engagement follow us @irmceorg or go to www.irmce.org

Funding for this series has been generously provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. 

Creator: Dr. Susannah Crockford

Executive Producer: Dr. Bradley Onishi (@bradleyonishi) 

Audio Engineer: Scott Okamoto (@rsokamoto)

Production Assistance: Kari Onishi 

Dr. Susannah Crockford (@suscrockford): Ripples of the Universe: Spirituality in Sedona, Arizona

Further Reading:

Ong, Jonathan Corpus, and Jason Vincent A. Cabañes. “Architects of Networked Disinformation: Behind the Scenes of Troll Accounts and Fake News Production in the Philippines.” ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst 74 (2018): 1-67, https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.7275/2cq4-5396 

Ong, Jonathan Corpus and Cabbuag, Samuel. “Pseudonymous Influencers and Horny ‘Alts’ in the Philippines: Media Manipulation Beyond ‘Fake News’” (2022). The Journal of Socio-Technical Critique 132, https://scholarworks.umass.edu/communication_faculty_pubs/132 

Ong, Jonathan Corpus, and Jason Vincent Cabañes. “When disinformation studies meets production studies: Social identities and moral justifications in the political trolling industry.” International Journal of Communication 13 (2019), https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1110&context=communication_faculty_pubs 

Ressa, Maria. How to Stand up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future. New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2022.

Marwick, Alice E., and Rebecca Lewis. “Media manipulation and disinformation online.” Data & Society (2017), https://www.posiel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Media-Manipulation-and-Disinformation-Online-1.pdf 

Select January 6th Committee Final Report and Supporting Materials Collection, https://www.govinfo.gov/collection/january-6th-committee-final-report 

Silverman, Craig, ProPublica, Craig Timberg, The Washington Post, Jeff Kao, ProPublica, and Jeremy B. Merrill, The Washington Post. “Facebook Hosted Surge of Misinformation and Insurrection Threats in Months Leading Up to Jan. 6 Attack, Records Show,” ProPublica, Jan 4, 2022, https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-hosted-surge-of-misinformation-and-insurrection-threats-in-months-leading-up-to-jan-6-attack-records-show 

Hao, Karen. “Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election, internal report shows.” MIT Technology Review, Sept 16, 2021, https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/09/16/1035851/facebook-troll-farms-report-us-2020-election/ 

Lanier, Jaron. Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now. Random House, 2018.

Fallorina, Rossine, Jose Mari Hall Lanuza, Juan Gabriel Felix, Ferdinand Sanchez II,

Jonathan Corpus Ong, and Nicole Curato. “From Disinformation to Influence

Operations: The Evolution of Disinformation in Three Electoral Cycles.” Internews 2023,


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