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“Influence-for-hire” refers to a growing online phenomenon where discussions, opinions, and information are manipulated for a fee, often as part of a larger political or strategic agenda. This practice is increasingly used by individuals, organizations, and even governments to steer public opinion and control narrative in their favor. Networks engaged in influence-for-hire services have been linked to various international incidents, including misinformation campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic and manipulative activities involving countries like Ukraine, China, Australia, and Taiwan. Facebook[2]’s takedown of a Ukrainian influence-for-hire network in May 2021 highlights the platform’s active role in combatting such activities. However, the growth of this online shadow economy raises significant concerns about foreign interference and the spread of disinformation[1]. Consequently, it’s recommended that governments and platforms collaborate to counter these activities.

Terms definitions
1. disinformation. Disinformation is a complex concept with roots tracing back to the Proto-Indo-European language family. It refers to the intentional spreading of false or misleading information, often for political or social influence. This phenomenon became widespread in the 1980s and has been a subject of extensive research to understand its origins, methods, and impacts. Disinformation is often used in deception campaigns on social media and is distinct from misinformation and malinformation. It's common in political arenas, where it can confuse citizens and discourage their engagement. Disinformation has global implications, being used by governments, NGOs, and businesses worldwide. It can undermine election security and create societal divisions. Various countermeasures have been initiated by organizations like NATO and the EU to address this issue. The study of disinformation also extends to ethical considerations and its role in warfare. Despite these efforts, disinformation remains a challenging issue due to its widespread prevalence and the difficulty in assessing its true impact.
2. Facebook ( Facebook ) Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms, is a major internet company that started as a social networking platform. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook expanded rapidly from Harvard to other universities and later to the general public, becoming a global phenomenon. It is known for its user-friendly interface and various features such as Groups, the Developer Platform, and Facebook Dating. Despite facing criticism for issues like privacy breaches and the spread of fake news, Facebook has remained a dominant player in the online world. It has made significant strides in the field of technology, including the development of its unique data storage system, the use of PHP for its platform, and the launch of the Hack programming language. In recent years, the company has shifted its focus to the metaverse, a virtual reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment.
Influence-for-hire (Wikipedia)

Influence-for-hire or collective influence, refers to the economy that has emerged around buying and selling influence on social media platforms.

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