We’ve all seen “fake news” in some way, shape, or form. Recently, more so than before. You know this type of news: seemingly true documented news and yet completely false. This past election has brought up more fake news than ever and people are buying it. Literally. Though people aren’t aware that they’re actually buying fake news, every time someone will click on a “news article,” the creator of that work gets paid. They aren’t paid much, but once it becomes viral the author can make thousands of dollars. There are hundreds of people worldwide who profit from those who click on their articles.
A real-life example of how someone got rich off “fake news” can be found in the town Veles, Macedonia. Dimitri, whose real name was not revealed to the journalists at NBC, and a few dozen others dabbled in the ad industry with Google AdSense. He put out fake news on the internet for us to click on and it worked. He made approximately $60,000 in six months while the average yearly income in Macedonia is $4,800. This “news” is strategically placed, drawing the attention of thousands of people, who click, read, believe, and most importantly share. This leads to even more clicking, reading, believing, and sharing.
Dimitri says that most of his ads were negative towards the democratic candidate and party, targeting both Clinton and Obama. His reasoning was that all of the Trump supporters would click on the ad to learn more. He was correct in his thinking. He was rewarded generously in payment, and the people went away thinking they learned some juicy nugget of information.
Be careful of what you see on the internet because it is hard to tell whether or not the news is legitimate. One cannot always believe what one reads. These kinds of scams potentially have the opportunity to sway your opinion or feed it with untruths. Take time to learn the facts. Visit trustworthy cites to verify the information before spreading the “news.”