Reports Media & Marketing

Fake News 2017 Social Media’s Coming of Age

Report by Zach Fuller
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20,000 Foot View:  By reaching the apex of cultural ubiquity, social media is being forced to answer questions it never imagined it would need to. Zuckerberg, Dorsey and Co.’s original missions could not have comprehended the way in which their communications tools would construct world-views. But when your service becomes a window into the wider society that has, for many, superseded news websites themselves, the weight of responsibility arrives on your shoulders. Fake news went mainstream in 2016 and was the subject of endless think pieces over how to address the matter without encroaching on the sensitive issue of censorship. Because these sites are not beholden to the same regulatory standards as other news outlets – stories ranging from the gross to the fantastical permeate the glowing news feeds of smartphone users globally.

Key Findings:

  • Only        of mobile users subscribe to multiple paid content services across Online Video, Music and News.
  •        consumption of new media (Vice, Buzzfeed) is        higher than average news consumption in the same demographic
  • Paid digital news subscriptions        for the FT,        for the New York Times), pale in comparison to the        Daily Active Users of Facebook. 
  • Major news outlets have seen a steep decline in the sharing of their content on Facebook
  •        of Buzz Feed and Vice users are aged under        while        of traditional online news users are aged over       
  • Algorithm’s in social media’s make-up creates ‘filter bubbles’ and limits perception of the wider news cycle
  • Sharing articles on social media as an expression of values leads to niche and unaccountable sites gaining traction
  • The present monetisation framework for online publishing encourages fake news
  • The multi-platform era blurs the distinction between parody and satire Companies Mentioned: BBC, BuzzFeed, Facebook, Financial Times, Google, Outbrain, The New York Times, The Guardian Group, Taboola, Twitter, Vice

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