Facebook, Fake News and the Dawn of Online Scrutiny

Social networks

Facebook is more than a social networking service; it’s an empire. It can do no wrong, Mark Zuckerberg thinks, even if it has been proven to facilitate the spread of fake news. With share prices shrinking, he probably now regrets this stance. With a $6 billion share buyback underway, according to Forbes, Facebook will probably bounce back.

What does Zuckerberg’s denial reveal about content marketing? Not only that hoaxing is a profitable endeavor for people who engage in it, like the self-appointed hoaxing guru who claims to have paved the way for Donald Trump’s electoral win, but also that the masses should and probably will be more careful with their fact-checking.

A recent Buzzfeed article claims fake news engagement nearly tripled in the quarter prior to the election, while objective mainstream news saw nearly half of its normal engagement. You may say that with Trump’s knack for saying outrageous things and Clinton’s perceived frostiness, it’s no wonder that fake news started springing up like mushrooms.


Considering that Facebook, Amazon and other online giants are gatekeepers to a vast amount of information, it should come as no surprise that there have always been outcries against their management of this data. Every other year, some of the largest e-commerce and social groups are asked to step up to the plate and reconsider their privacy policies. Just last year Wired released another story discussing poor big data management practices.

Fake News is Losing Ground

Never before have the masses been so vehement about the effect that content marketing has when it’s unchecked and unrestricted. Content marketing brings with it a range of responsibilities. Whether products are promoted on a website, a social platform or by word of mouth, companies and the platforms they choose for their marketing will soon become accountable for their marketing efforts.


Let’s all agree to disagree, find a way to fact-check before we publish and find ways to teach readers what critical thinking is. Unless we have something to hide, there’s no reason not to empower customers to discern between good and bad, between worthy and irrelevant. After all, what good is a product if we need to use underhanded tactics to promote it?

Unfortunately for marketers, this will be hard to do. Save from actively criticizing a competitor’s product, there really aren’t that many ways to ensure that there’s fairness in content marketing. Still, this is undoubtedly the dawn of an era where online scrutiny will become the best way to distance oneself and one’s products from companies with damaging business practices.


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Melissa has written over 1,200 articles in the past year. Translations are her passion, but she considers herself to be an outstanding writer, as well. She is extremely dependable. She always meets her deadlines, and she is very dedicated to her work.

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