LONDON • The small town of Veles is not exactly world famous; its 40,000 inhabitants are mostly poor and Macedonia, the East European country to which they belong, is still struggling to even have its official country name recognised by its neighbours.
But as implausible as this may now seem, it was the town of Veles that helped Mr Donald Trump get elected as the 45th President of the United States. For it was this place in a dusty corner of Europe's south-eastern approaches which, back in 2016, acted as home to at least 140 websites supplying a constant stream of information in support of Mr Trump's candidacy.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 18, 2018, with the headline Tackling fake news: A time bomb threatening global social order. Subscribe