The internet is growing, and nevertheless the number of people who are using it are also increasing. With the internet playing a more important role in how most of these people receive information, fake ones can cause a chain reaction.
We're seeing more fake news and information around the web, and they've been shared more than plenty. To some people, they don't take viral social media news so seriously. But the problem is, many of us do.
We have newspapers that some of us are still receiving every morning. Aside from political reasons, newspapers are already giving the mindset for people that they're telling the truth.
On another side of the equation, other people start their mornings by seeking news on their favorite news media websites, news aggregation apps and also social media. To them, technology has become one inseparable part of their lives. Information on the internet can flow a lot faster than just waiting for the next news to show up on papers or TV.
While traditional means of news delivery is having a huge pressure from technology, there are still people who are willing to pay for them. But the thing is, technology is everywhere and it has become a new way for fast information retrieval.
So if one good thing deserves another, a bad thing can spread like wildfire.
Fake information on the web, include, and not limited to: fake news, fake reviews, fake listings, fake ads, phantom bids, take websites and fake/bot audience, fake billing and invoices, fake URLs and more.
When they spread, they can influence a chain reaction that will dominate the headlines for weeks. Not just fake information, fabricated information that went viral can also put trouble in the growing trend of media contents.
Those fake information simply bring darkness to an already dark hole. It's dimming the lights to create a much wider problem. While the truth is out there, less people are seeking for them. Why? Because they're aren't as interesting as the fake ones. Top fake stories can receive more engagement than the "true" top news stories.
This is human behavior. And on the internet that has become more social, this behavior can be easily manipulated.
The impact to the general consumer is indirect, but the effect can still be significant: they'll be left in the dark where the lights of truth aren't anymore trusted - the truth is out there, but they don't care.
For publishers, fake news can be particularly hard to stop. As consumers search the web to help them satisfy the hunger for information, the number of fake information that went viral will certainly give impacts to the overall effectiveness of marketing. Publishers are already facing challenges in gaining consumer's trust, and with fake information becoming popular, this will hurt them more.
And for advertisers, they may be spending money on advertising that no one will ever see, caused by the publishers competing in an unfair market. They have to pay more than they should to market their products and services.
In short, fake information will cause a chain reaction that will kill reputation, credibility and morale of everyone. Except for the fake information publishers that are able to rake millions of dollars because of this.
If more people can be aware of how fake information are being used, more people will be able to identify them. They will know when they see one, and can help themselves for not being affected. This will save everyone.
While tech giants like Google and Facebook have algorithms and they can be made to filter out those fake information, it still depends on how people will perceive them. If they still see fake news as something they're eager to share, the spread will continue and there won't be an end to them anytime soon.
It goes down to the mindset of people. If they want to ruin their thoughts by "accepting" fake information, they won't be seeing the lights of truth anymore. They'll be blinded by the dark and are happy with it.
Remember that behind everything on the web, there are humans working behind the screen. And users of the web, stand between fake news and the platforms that spread them.