“Can Facebook Solve Its Macedonian Fake-News Problem?”

“The Macedonian millennials aren’t (necessarily) looking to influence the election or analyze U.S. politics — they want to draw in American visitors through Facebook and make money off of sales of display ads on their bootleg politics sites. “In Macedonia the economy is very weak and teenagers are not allowed to work, so we need to find creative ways to make some money,” one 17-year-old told BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman. “I’m a musician but I can’t afford music gear.” Put another way: Post-Soviet teenagers are selling digital tabloids to gullible Americans to pay for Korg mixers. Real life always ends up being stranger than anything you can imagine…
This Facebook-news arbitrage scheme is booming this election season, thanks to this confluence of Facebook (and its ability to drive an audience), Google (and its ability to seamlessly monetize any website), and this particular election (and its ability to fill people with passionate, spitting rage). Thanks to our new media landscape, hoaxes, exaggerations, and outright lies aren’t just able to propagate but are actually incentivized. And it’s not clear that there’s an easy way to fix it.”
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