Journal of Technology Law & Policy

Document Type



The proliferation of fake news through targeted social media disinformation campaigns originating in the United States and abroad threatens the hallmark of a well-functioning democracy—“a well-informed electorate.” This Note will describe the most damaging type of fake news—knowingly false stories made with the intent to distribute in return for advertising income. First, this Note will provide an overview of fake news and explain why current legal frameworks are insufficient to effectively deter the spread of fake news. Then, this Note will argue that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to address this issue and will recommend the FTC adopt a rule based on a theory of intent to distribute. Finally, this Note will discuss how the proposed rule will better equip the FTC to combat the proliferation of fake news and deter its dissemination from the source—the author.