Fake news and the ugly rise of sponsored content

This PR pro says corporate communicators are to blame for clickbait articles and false stories, because native advertising has changed the way readers look at articles. He also faults mainstream news outlets.

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Corporate communicators are to blame for the fake news epidemic.

That’s surprising, perhaps, coming from a communications pro. Yet I wonder whether “communications pro” will be a job title if we continue down the path we started nearly 100 years ago.

Vox reported that the top 20 fake news stories outperformed real news at the end of the 2016 campaign, based on Facebook engagements from August to Election Day. We wondered whether Tim Kaine was in an open marriage (he wasn’t), or whether Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump (he didn’t).

I won’t argue about politics and confirmation bias. I will assert that the corporate communications function (including marketing communications) paved the way for the adoption and proliferation of fake news.

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