Influence-for-hire or collective influence, refers to the economy that has emerged around buying and selling influence on social media platforms.[1]


Companies that engage in the influence-for-hire industry range from content farms to high end public relations agencies. Traditionally influence operations have largely been confined to public sector actors like intelligence agencies, in the influence-for-hire industry the groups conduction the operations are private with commerce being their primary consideration.[2] However many of the clients in the influence-for-hire industry are countries or countries acting through proxies.[1] They are often located in countries with less expensive digital labor.[3]


In May 2021, Facebook took a Ukrainian influence-for-hire network offline. Facebook attributed the network to organizations and consultants linked to Ukrainian politicians including Andriy Derkach.[4][5]

During the COVID-19 pandemic state sponsored misinformation was spread through influence-for-hire networks.[6]

In August 2021, a report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute implicated the Chinese government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party in campaigns of online manipulation conducted against Australia and Taiwan using influence-for-hire.[7][8][9][10]

See also


  1. ^ a b Wallace, Jacob; Boggle, Ariel; Zhang, Albert; Mansour, Hillary. "Influence for hire. The Asia-Pacific's online shadow economy". ASPI. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  2. ^ Loudermilk, E. Louise; O’Brien, Joseph J.; Goodrick, Scott L.; Linn, Rodman R.; Skowronski, Nicholas S.; Hiers, J. Kevin (June 10, 2022). "Vegetation's influence on fire behavior goes beyond just being fuel". Fire Ecology. 18 (1): 9. doi:10.1186/s42408-022-00132-9. ISSN 1933-9747.
  3. ^ KIPAROIDZE, MARIAM (August 13, 2021). "'Influence for hire' networks are manipulating online discussions throughout the Asia Pacific region". Coda Story. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Culliford, Elizabeth. "Facebook Removes Ukraine Political 'Influence-For-Hire' Network". US News. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  5. ^ Somerville, Hannah (May 13, 2021). "Ukrainian MP blasts 'hysterical' Facebook after influence network busted". Euro News. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Mansour, Hillary; Nkwanyana, Khwezi; Page, Matthew (July 30, 2021). "The threat spectrum". ASPI. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  7. ^ Gibson, Liam (August 10, 2021). "CCP outsourcing propaganda campaigns to content farms in Taiwan and Australia: Think tank". Taiwan News. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Galloway, Anthony (August 9, 2021). "Growing online 'influence-for-hire' economy opens door for foreign interference: report". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  9. ^ Barbaschow, Asha. "ASPI suggests government work with platforms to fight disinformation for hire". ZDNet. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Rae, Marion (August 10, 2021). "China hides behind hackers for hire: study". The West Australian. Retrieved August 14, 2021.