- Fake news is a profitable industry. More on that in a previous post.
- Fakes news that goes viral, generates lots of ad views; and it is not just The Onion.
- Social media sharing makes this possible. And makes propaganda sharing even easier.
Fake news is, incidentally, a relatively new addition to the media landscape. The Internet’s always teemed with rumors and scams, of course. But the fake news industry — a crop of Web sites dedicated solely to passing off fact as fiction, for the resulting ad revenue — has only exploded within the past two years. National Report was registered in February 2013, and is now so successful that it’s planning an empire of five more fake-news sites.
The web site – LiberalLogic101.com – is a web site that contains memes directed at conservatives: “Helping those of us with brains understand how Liberal Logic works”. They also are on Facebook and encourage the sharing of their posts, all of which link to their LiberalLogic101.com web site, where they run lots of advertising. Is it a fake news web site? Probably more of an opinion web site but the same business concept applies.
OccupyDemocrats is a similar online publishing business that hooks liberals in to sharing propaganda posters about various subject. Occupy Democrats steals photos (I contacted several photographers who confirmed their photos had been stolen and used without permission) from online web sites and then adds text to elicit an emotional response from their target audience and sharing on social media. Many of their posts link back to their web site where they run advertising.
Facebook, the WaPo says, is trying to identify news links from these various fake news sites so they can be identified as satire when people share them on line. (Since that was written, Facebook has come under fire for its “Trending News” topic as having been manipulated to censor conservative viewpoints. Presumably their “fake news” initiative suffers from similar problems.)
In the context of a world awash in unrecognized fake news, propaganda thrives. Fake news – and presumably propaganda – is super profitable – earning up to 5 figure $s per day, at best. they claim. Which may explain why “real news” is often reading more like fake news 🙂
Some propaganda web sites are actually fake news web sites that have figured out how to turn emotional-jolts-per-minute into profitable endeavors – LiberalLogic101 and OccupyDemocrats are just two such examples.