We’ve all had that moment. You’re reading through a great article online, when suddenly you reach the end. Your world spins out of control as you see a promoted story titled “your cat may be planning to kill you, here’s why”, was everything you just read a lie? It’s difficult to trust the legitimacy of an article when you see ridiculous recommended suggestions below.
Maybe you recently saw your aunt sally share a “news” article. About how hillary clinton has a body double or that pope francis endorsed donald trump. Suddenly, your news feed is full of bogus news and people you once. Thought were intelligent and rational, now look like fools.
I’ll admit, I’ve on-occasion fallen for those click-bait headlines. Or fake news articles, only to be directed to a horrible site bogged down by hundreds of ads. Thankfully, online content is starting to get the scrutiny it needs to change and be useful to all users.
Grouped together under a label like promoted stories or around the web
They provide high amounts of revenue to the site and give advertisers an affordable way to reach large and premium audiences. A report phone lists from changeadvertising.Org found that 41 of the top 50 news sites — including the guardian, cnn, time and forbes — embed widgets from so-called content-recommendation companies. The deal doesn’t sound too bad, everyone is making money and happy, except for those most important, the readers.
Around the web
Publishers are now considering the effect that these articles are having on their own brands. When someone reads a great article on forbes, only to be suggested an immature or false headline, they start to think less about the legitimacy of all the content on forbes. That is why a handful of publishers are now removing them all together, such as slate and the new yorker.
It is not the right look if you’re trying to say you’re a high quality
There is still a lot of progress to be made for a lot of publishers, but the fact that some are listening to the concerns of consumers and taking action is a step in the right direction.
“obama bans pledge of allegiance in schools nationwide”
What’s worse than seeing click bait IS Lists headlines suggested by robots at the bottom of articles? Seeing fake cringe-worthy articles suggested by your friends and family on facebook. According to the business insider, 2.2 million people engaged with the obama article with the headline mentioned above. That’s 2.2 million people who believed that the president signed an executive order banning the pledge of allegiance.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only article that hooked people in, by the time of the election, fake stories had more engagements than real news stories. The chart below shows the engagement for fake and real news stories over the past year. As you can see, the two months leading up to the election actually had more fake news engagements than real news engagements on facebook. This should scare any logical person.