By DAVID BAUDER
AP Media Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — In an attempt to see how social media influences American politics, a BBC reporter created some fake Americans. For its “Americast” podcast, BBC disinformation reporter Marianna Spring invented five fake social media accounts of people of different political leanings. The idea is to see how algorithms spread material, often false, through these giant companies despite attempts to stop it. The companies frown on fake accounts, but similar research methods have been used. But it’s something journalism ethics experts frown upon: it’s rarely justified to use deception to gain information. The BBC says the level of public interest outweighs the deception involved.