Lying and distorting facts to gain personal or political advantage has characterized human history at least since classical antiquity. While we do not possess evidence that early societies engaged in these practices as well, it is safe to assume that some individuals may have spread disinformation and rumours to secure support or damage the opponents since the dawn of mankind.
Freedom flourishes in nations where governments are held accountable by its people through the guarantee of basic rights and strong democratic institutions. Such democratic states are in decline for the 13th consecutive year. The reasons for this are manifold and complex. Technology, however, is one major cause that can turn a democracy, with a functioning opposition; a civil society and basic rights and freedoms into a hellish autocracy.