We have investigative journalist Wayne Madsen to thank for checking the facts on the most well-known of “fact-checking” websites and confirming what many had suspected for years since the 1995 founding of Snopes.com. According to Madsen, Snopes was formed by the Central Intelligence Agency for the express purpose of stifling subversive outlets and spreading disinformation and propaganda on the Internet. Until 2013, the CIA had to do this on the down-low because propaganda wasn’t legal yet.
We have Barack Obama to thank for legalizing propaganda and psychological operations aimed at influencing US public opinion, when he passed an amendment to the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 in his NDAA for fiscal year 2013. This now allows the State Department (i.e., the CIA) to go beyond manipulating mainstream media outlets and directly disseminating campaigns of misinformation to the US public, such as the Mueller Investigation.