We all know the saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, which means that if there is telltale evidence of some event, the event is probably occurring. But when confronted with information online, often times where there is smoke, there is mostly just smoke. When confronted with an outrageous, bizarre, or explosive claim posted on social media that is getting traction, don’t assume there is a fire, go look for it. This article goes into detail about how to identify creators of disinformation. Look at the account, the audience (following and spreaders) and the message(s).
A clear indication that someone is attempting to spread disinformation, is that their content is inflammatory or false. You can also check if the content contains evidence that it is consistent with a wider plan to spread false information using multiple fake accounts.
It is necessary to examine the audience of a suspected spreader of disinformation for evidence that many of their followers are automated or inauthentic accounts.