Untangling Disinformation NPR series examines how widespread the problem of disinformation is, and efforts to overcome it.
Special Series

Untangling Disinformation

The director of Resource Center Matamoros, Hugo Terrones, spoke to Muckraker founder Anthony Rubin and his brother after the pair showed up at RCM's office asking about volunteer opportunities. But they were never allowed inside. Verónica Gabriela Cárdenas for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Verónica Gabriela Cárdenas for NPR

Abandoned tents remain at the migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, that is at the center of a controversy involving viral images of a flyer encouraging migrants to vote for President Biden. Verónica Gabriela Cárdenas for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Verónica Gabriela Cárdenas for NPR

A flyer in her name told migrants to vote for Biden. But she says she didn't write it

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1248599505/1251647708" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A newly signed law requires that the Chinese-owned TikTok app be sold to satisfy national security concerns. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

China's influence operations against the U.S. are bigger than TikTok

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1247347363/1247405996" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A billboard in central Tehran, Iran, depicts named Iranian ballistic missiles in service, with text in Arabic reading "the honest [person's] promise" and text in Persian reading "Israel is weaker than a spider's web," on April 15. Iran attacked Israel over the weekend with missiles, which it said was a response to a deadly strike on its consulate building in Damascus, Syria. Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

A 2014 file photo of the seal of the Federal Trade Commission in a carpet a FTC headquarters in Washington, DC. The organization is trying to raise consumer awareness about the use of artificial intelligence tools to create convincing audio deepfakes. Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

As deepfake generation technology improves and leaves ever-fewer telltale signs that humans can rely on, computational methods for detection are becoming the norm. But technological solutions are no silver bullet for the problem of detecting AI-generated voices. Aaron Marin for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Aaron Marin for NPR

Using AI to detect AI-generated deepfakes can work for audio — but not always

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1241446778/1243606170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Attendees visit booths at the RePlatform conference in Las Vegas in March. The conference crowd was a hybrid of anti-vaccine activists, supporters of former President Donald Trump and Christian conservatives. Krystal Ramirez for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Krystal Ramirez for NPR

How anti-vaccine activists and the far right are trying to build a parallel economy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1240778608/1242104152" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Residents look on after a cargo ship ran into and collapsed the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore. Conspiracy theorists online quickly spread narratives to millions online that the accident was part of a nefarious scheme. Rob Carr/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Rob Carr/Getty Images

High school students taking part in the University of Washington's annual MisInfo Day earlier this month. They are looking at pictures of faces to tell whether the images were created with generative AI tools or authentic. Kim Malcolm/KUOW hide caption

toggle caption
Kim Malcolm/KUOW

AI images and conspiracy theories are driving a push for media literacy education

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1239693671/1239814896" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

PragerU videos frequently focus, with a conservative bent, on topics including history, economics, values and wellness. Videos such as this one, about Christopher Columbus, have been criticized for how historical events have been depicted. PragerU/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
PragerU/Screenshot by NPR

PragerU is a conservative video giant. Here's why it's trying to get into schools

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1234491074/1236721076" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lindsay Lohan and other celebrities were tricked into calling for the ouster of Moldova's president through videos requested on the Cameo app that were edited and posted on TikTok. TikTok/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
TikTok/Screenshot by NPR

Cameo is being used for political propaganda — by tricking the stars involved

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1234114383/1234114384" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A voter leaves a polling booth at St. Anthony Community Center in Manchester, N.H., during the state's presidential primary on Jan. 23. Michael Dwyer/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Dwyer/AP

Tech giants pledge action against deceptive AI in elections

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1232001889/1232139208" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Voters wait to cast their ballots on Jan. 23 in Loudon, N.H. Shortly before voting began, some voters in the state got calls from a faked version of President Biden's voice urging them not to vote, a sign of the potential that deepfakes could have on the electoral process. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

AI fakes raise election risks as lawmakers and tech companies scramble to catch up

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1229641751/1229965022" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Meta, the owner of Instagram and Facebook, will start labeling images created with leading artificial intelligence tools in the coming months, amid growing worries about the potential for AI to mislead. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

There is a thriving landscape of social media content, online forums and entrepreneurs dedicated to helping men suppress the urge to masturbate to pornography. Joe Gough for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Joe Gough for NPR

Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with Taylor Swift after a 17-10 victory against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 28, 2024 in Baltimore. Patrick Smith/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Here's why conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift and the Super Bowl are spreading

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1228373511/1228462717" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A picture of Jeffrey Epstein from July 8, 2019, when federal prosecutors charged the financier with sex trafficking of minors. Epstein died later that year by suicide while in federal custody. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The new Jeffrey Epstein files have set off a fresh round of conspiracy theories

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1223212801/1223223050" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Elections for many national governments and the European Parliament, seen here in Brussels in 2020, will take place in 2024. Experts warn that these elections are ripe targets for bad actors seeking to disrupt democracy. Thierry Roge/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Thierry Roge/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

2024 elections are ripe targets for foes of democracy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1220087754/1221891018" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A supporter of Kuomintang, or KMT, Taiwan's major opposition party, waves Taiwan's national flag on Nov. 24, 2023, in Taipei, Taiwan. Researchers uncovered an influence operation targeting Taiwan's upcoming presidential election on Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. Annabelle Chih/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Annabelle Chih/Getty Images