Digital Threat Digest Insights Careers Let's talk

Information overload - Digital Threat Digest

PGI’s Digital Investigations Team brings you the Digital Threat Digest, SOCMINT and OSINT insights into disinformation, influence operations, and online harms.


It has only been in the past year or so that I have heard ‘burnout’ and ‘fatigue’ used in reference to social media, information and the news. All the variations denote a similar feeling - an overwhelming sense of dread, exhaustion, cynicism and apathy towards the news and current affairs. Endless doom-scrolling entombs us in the same never-ending cycle; over-consumption, burnout, a brief period of animosity before the consumption starts up again.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine, the ongoing competition for the US Speaker of the House of Representatives, the various elections and referendums happening around the world and your local and national news is a lot to keep up with. By nature, news vies for the attention of the public and the information we constantly consume must be newsworthy. I remember being in a stuffy lecture hall sometime in 2016 learning that there were seven basic tenets of ‘newsworthiness’, ‘Timeliness, Relevance, Impact, Proximity, Prominence, Oddity, Conflict, Newness or Continuity.’ Impact seems the most relevant to me today, because content will always have greater impact on a fatigued audience.

A recent journal article in Scientific Reports examined the links between social media fatigue and the sharing of misinformation. This study has shown that when people experience social media fatigue, they tend to lessen their critical thinking skills and increase their confirmation bias therefore becoming more susceptible to misinformation. Social media algorithms then enshrine these beliefs, showing the user more what they have already consumed. Whilst this doesn’t have always the most positive impact for the consumer, it works wonders for threat actors who are seeking to sow discord, confusion and misinformation.

More about Protection Group International's Digital Investigations

Our Digital Investigations Analysts combine modern exploitative technology with deep human analytical expertise that covers the social media platforms themselves and the behaviours and the intents of those who use them. Our experienced analyst team have a deep understanding of how various threat groups use social media and follow a three-pronged approach focused on content, behaviour and infrastructure to assess and substantiate threat landscapes.

Disclaimer: Protection Group International does not endorse any of the linked content.