There is a good CNN video, 13 minutes, here about the city of Veles in Macedonia, which emerged as one of the capitals of fake news deployment in run up to US 2016 election.
Also an article from the Guardian, July 2017, about investigation into Russian ties to fake news sites.
“Mattes, a former Senate investigator, did some digging into the sudden phenomenon of eastern European Sanders enthusiasts. He found a spike in activity on the anonymous browsing tool Tor in Macedonia that coincided with the launch of the fake news campaign, which he believes could represent Russian handlers contacting potential east European hosts to help them set up automated websites.”
Jonathan Albright’s November 2016 Medium post about the marriage of propaganda, misinformation, and analytics draws together all these threads into a darkly amazing tapestry. Albright:
“I’m going to use the data I’ve collected for this project to make the argument that this “micro-propaganda machine” is not only a source of “fake news,” political noise, and strategic misinformation, it’s weaponized, behavioral-tracking shadow tech…
The data trails left from visiting these propaganda/hoax/viral/ misinformation “fake news” sites are being used to reflect on people’s past decisions to influence the future: It’s called predictive modeling.”