Aim is to study “fake news”, “viral” technologies for their distribution, mechanisms of “infection” and modification, as well as methods of detection and counteraction.Methodology. The mechanisms of modification of viral fakes when broadcasting their “emotional code” through the media and messengers, known as “chain reactions”, and probing information impulses used for empirical research of network structures and communities, have been investigated. The mechanism of the viral spread of fakes is examined using the case-study method.Results. The sequential activation of the control “tabs” in the fake is described on the example of a two-phase model of the impact of viral information. It is noted that the most effective methods of countering fakes (including viral-type fakes) are the following ones: “preemptive strike” (used in case a fake attack is just being prepared), interception of the information agenda (used in case the attack has already begun) and implementation own information agenda (if the agenda has already been intercepted), which sets its own rules for the information “game”.Research implications. Information about the mechanism of the viral spread of “fake news” can be used in the context of post-truth research, and will also be useful to political scientists, political strategists and specialists in countering destructive political technologies.