How fake news can destroy your brand’s reputation
Hand holding Smartphone: Fake News

How fake news can destroy your brand’s reputation

By: Ahmed Al Balushi

With all the attention being paid to it nowadays, why does Fake News still spread?

The answer is simple: It’s because we’re only human. 

In an interview with Psychology Today, Cailin O’Connor noted that the major reason the deeply ingrained habit of trusting other humans as sources of information. If people didn’t trust what other people were telling them, we would have died out as a race long ago.

Fake news takes advantage of this tendency and thanks to social media and ad networks, can spread information quickly.

Like a virus, once it spreads farther, it can be very difficult to stop.

This can lead to disastrous effects and possibly destroy your brand’s reputation.

Viral leads to visibility

Dealing with Fake News is a race against time. 

Once a false news story has spread far enough, it can make it tough for search engines to tell the difference between real and fake because of how engaged users appear to be. 

This became clear in 2016 when there was an uproar around Google’s autocomplete suggesting offensive searches like as ‘Are women evil?’ or  ‘are Muslims bad?’ all thanks to Fake News articles. 

Don’t wait until its too late—get ahead of trending fake news stories about your brand by leveraging an advanced AI-powered platform.

Location is still everything

Fake news doesn’t necessarily have to be about your company to have a negative effect. 

Just having your brand aligned with fake news can have as long-lasting an effect. 

For instance, in 2016 Kellogg’s advertisements were present on Breitbart.com, a website infamous for spreading fake news. Their social media sentiment plummeted by 75%

Still to this day, they’re still trying to recover that lost goodwill.

Fake News & The Bottom Line

The impact of fake news can extend beyond reputation and brand and hit your bottom line as well. 

In 2013, reporter Chen Yongzhou was bribed by a company to write false stories about a competitor. The false information he spread correlated to a stock decline of 26.9% on the Hong Kong stock exchange, likely thanks to the false information Yongzhou spread. 

That’s why it’s so important to have a plan to take on Fake News.

Conclusion

So, are we really in a post-information world? 

Not necessarily.

Studies conducted by Cornell University prove that by showing a source as dubious or untrustworthy, people will discount the information. Another group showed that by teaching people the strategies used by fake news practitioners you can drastically lower its impact.

In the end, these methods will take time and social change to make an impact.

Your organization needs to bring the fight to Fake News now and the best way to do that is by equipping your organization with social listening tools.

That way, you can be aware of Fake News about your brand within minutes and your team can come up with the most appropriate response to curb any negative effects. 

Have you or your organization been impacted by Fake News before? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below.

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