How Social Media’s Business Model Fuels Disinformation | Insights by Carlos Diaz Ruiz


Deceptive online content has become a lucrative business within the digital advertising market, now valued at €625 billion. Social media’s business model thrives on engagement, pushing platforms to prioritize emotionally charged content, irrespective of its veracity. Carlos Diaz Ruiz highlights how disinformation, encompassing bots, deep fakes, fake news, and conspiracy theories, is not an unintended consequence but a predictable outcome of the profit-driven system.

Discussion Points:


How does the business model of social media platforms contribute to the spread of disinformation?

  • Consider the link between engagement, emotional content, and the financial incentives for platforms.

              Sub-heading | Top of article


How does triggering an emotional reaction in the consumers of media content make money for the online platforms that produce it.

  • Think about how clicks turn to money.

              Sub-heading | A business model that rewards engagement


How do product brands insulate themselves from the negative impact of having their ads run on websites that spread misinformation?

  • Explore the role of ad tech firms and marketing agencies.

              Sub-heading | Digital marketing and disinformation


In your opinion what effect would reforming the digital advertising market have on the spread of misinformation?

  • Consider what kind of revenue model could minimize misinformation.

              Sub-heading | Democratic governance of digital platforms