Much focus is on the validity of news these days and even more questions as to why it’s so prevalent. This interesting information came to us from Information Today Europe in their article, “Fake news – the awful truth.”

There are several reasons why people produce fake news stories or entirely fake news sites. Follow the money. If someone sees a news story and visits the site there is a possibility that they may well end up clicking on an advertising link, and make money for the site owner.

Another nefarious reason is that it gives the perpetrator a chance to infect a readers machine with malware. A visitor clicks on a link and goes to the site, where upon a dialogue box pops up to say that a particular software is out of date and needs to be updated. A small number of people will automatically click on the link supplied and will end up downloading and installing malicious software that could do any manner of nasty things.

The final reason and probably most talked about right now is when people produce fake news to push a certain agenda, be it religious or political. A recent Buzzfeed news analysis discovered that fake political stories on Facebook during the American election campaign of 2016 generated more clicks, likes and shares than the best performing election stories from trustworthy news sites. This has its own set of problems and challenges.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.