Hackernoon logoWe need more fake news, not less. by@screeley

We need more fake news, not less.

Sean Creeley Hacker Noon profile picture

Sean Creeley

Founder

Hear me out, fake news isn’t prevalent enough for a shift to happen. We will only see action when we can’t escape it.

Prediction: In 3 months the battle cry to end fake news will fade, we will forget that any of this happened and 1% for a Facebook user’s diet will be fake news. Business as usual.

Wall-e!

1% just isn’t enough, it needs to be 10% or even better 50%. In an ideal world this would happen quickly and tastefully.

Think of fake news as an astroid and that astroid is 5 years light years away. Right now there is a debate of whether it’s going to hit us or not.

  1. Tech is still at the “what is truth” stage in thinking about the problem. The Pope didn’t endorse Trump, but you’re right, let’s argue about liberal bias for 6 months first.
  2. Facebook is the primary purveyor of fake news. It has yet to spread in a meaningful way to Twitter, LinkedIn, Snap, Instagram and really every other platform.
  3. There is not a robust system creating and spreading fake news. One small town in Macedonia isn’t enough.

Before we continue, a short history lesson.

There once was a company called Demand Media that was founded in 2006. Their speciality was producing a massive amount of low quality articles and tuning SEO so these articles would rank well on Google. They pioneered the “Content Farm” and others followed.
Google’s search results became a mess of low quality content.
On January 2011 Demand Media IPOd at a billion dollar market cap.
On February 2011 Google released “Panda”, a change to it’s search algorithm, that punished Content Farms like Demand Media.
By the end of 2011 Demand Media was trading at a quarter of it’s highs and Google’s search results were significantly better.

What we need is the Demand Media of fake news. A highly sophisticated operation that uses modern tools to create and distribute a massive amount of garbage socially.

It shall be named Garbage Media.

Garbage Media will run domains like the Peterborough Gazette, the New Boston Herald and New York Conservative. It will ask you to follow them on Snap Chat and pick fights on Twitter. Garbage Media will target users with such perfection that it will know their darkest fears and give them articles to “prove” that they are true.

Garbage Media will generate memes within memes and run Harambe for a seat in the New Hampshire house.

This company will save us. The astroid will be hanging out right next to the moon, no longer a existential threat.

  1. Facebook will be forced to release their own version of Panda, sighting a loss in revenues. Their users will have become too skeptical of content that purchasing decisions are affected.
  2. Display advertising CPMs will continue to fall. Garbage Media will flood the market with supply, so mush so, demand will be unable to keep up.
  3. Users will flock to professional media, in all forms, because they built authentic trust. Forced to innovate monetization strategies, publishers thrive as they are no longer tied to page views.
  4. Companies will share technology and guidelines for blocking and flagging fake news.

The internet will enter the golden age of publishing.

It took 5 years of a constant onslaught by Demand Media on Google’s search results for change. 5 years, so forgive me if I think 8 months of a viral news stories is going to change much.

What the internet needs is a strong fake news industry for the real news to thrive. It’s going to get darker, hold on tight.

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