Report: Disinformation As a Business – A Polish Case Study

Visegrad Insight and PSSI report

29 September 2023

Research on disinformation usually focuses on its content but often overlooks the financial aspects and the variety of motivations behind the spread of disinformation. Knowledge concerning these aspects is crucial for employing effective tools for countering disinformation and building a healthy information space with resilient audiences.

The report demonstrates that disinformation can be a financially profitable business, and defunding these revenue streams should be explored as a counter-strategy to malign information activities.


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The report builds on PSSI’s original research and methodology and focuses on funding websites spreading disinformation in Poland. Firstly, the report maps out the funding sources of these websites. In this regard, voluntary contributions and ad revenue stand out as the main channels of generating income and their modus operandi is explored in detail. Where information is available, the report also provides income estimates of the websites in specific numbers to illustrate the potential of monetising disinformation.

Based on this data, the report identifies four business models of the disinformation landscape: PreachersBusinessmenHealers, and Esoterics. These business models illustrate the variety of motivations behind the spread of disinformation, from ideological to financial. They also help understand the modus operandi of websites spreading disinformation and can serve as an aid for choosing the right strategy to curb their malign activities. The conclusion then provides practical recommendations on how to explore defunding as a counter-disinformation strategy.

Author: Miles R. Maftean

This project was implemented in partnership with the Prague Security Studies Institute and supported by the Czech-Polish Forum program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.


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