Faking It: How You Can Combat The Proliferation Of Fake News

At 23, Cameron Harris wanted to set himself apart. He was looking to start a consulting business during the crazy 2016 political season, but he had bills to pay. As a recent graduate from a college where tuition is over $45,000 per year, Harris decided he’d write a fake news story and see how much attention—and Google/Facebook ad revenue—it would attract. Harris fabricated a tale about ballot boxes full of fraudulent votes for Hillary Clinton found in an Ohio warehouse. He bolstered his story by creating numerous, official-sounding sites across several social media platforms and enthusiastically shared his fabricated news as if everyone was talking about it. It worked. Astonishingly, his story would be shared 6 million times and he’d make $22,000 dollars in a few months from the ads placed on his suddenly popular website. Some say the story also may have swayed a teetering presidential election.


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