The Rise of Fake News 

The surge of popularity in social media in the recent decade has brought several social, political and economic opportunities for businesses, political figures and people alike. However, what started as a pure social hub for millions of people has become an environment where fake news runs rampant.

Today, Facebook is home to 167 million people, and approximately 62 percent of users rely on Facebook to gather their news for the day. Although fake news did exist since Facebook’s creation, fake sites were scarce. That is, until the blowup of Donald Trump. Since his announcement to run for the White House, and especially in the coming months of the presidential election, numerous sites have emerged generating fake news with pro-Trump or pro-Hillary content. As the campaign went on, content creators became bolder, posting hoaxes in an attempt to discredit either candidate. However, prolific Trump news has circulated more frequently due to two factors: fan base and dynamic content.

Several fake news sources have openly admitted that targeting Trump voters were easier; all they had to do was play into the “alt right” ideals in order to manipulate their audience. While they found huge success with pro-trump voters, they also found that liberals were not taking the same bait. Even more perplexing is the seemingly ridiculous content of the articles themselves. Ludicrous topics include suspicions regarding the “death of an FBI agent” supposedly handling the Clinton email case, the pope’s endorsement of Trump, and even the fact that California allowed three million illegal immigrants to vote this past election. Certainly, fake news has covered it all.

Fake News After The Election

Now that the election has passed, the spread of fake news has seen somewhat of a decline, but not nearly enough to curb the issue. If anything, the election explicitly shows the large amounts of income you can reap through website traffic and ads. Politics are a stale subject, but social and economic issues remain ripe for the picking. One successful owner and writer of over 15 fake news sites, albeit anonymous, claims to earn an average of $10,000-$30,000 per month strictly off fake news stories. Wherever there is quick money to be made, you can be sure people will be flocking towards it.

How Does This Affect My Business?

If there is one thing we can take away from this, it is that social media is at the forefront of news, social relations, and advertising. Gone are the days where traditional media outlets such as television and radio dominated the media environment. Social media has become the prime place to advertise anything and everything, and continues to emerge as the most effective way to reach out to the new generation. As a business, it becomes clear that a Facebook and Twitter account are almost a must-have in a society where network media reigns supreme. The key however, lies in formulating a concise yet elaborate plan to reach out to a target audience with sufficiently riveting content that generates the most views and clicks.