By disseminating distorted information in the public sphere, corporations are able to make their business ventures more palatable to the public, minimise perceptions of irresponsibility and deflect public scrutiny, at times resulting in demands for accountability.

The intentional spreading of distorted information and doubt as a public relations strategy employed to hinder and delay regulation in the public interest has been well-established since the tobacco scandals of the 1950s. While examples of this strategy may take the form of one-time engagements with the public such as misleading press releases, the strategy can also appear in long-term and expertly-crafted campaigns to slowly spread doubt among the public.