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  • Ashley Annakie

Trust Me I'm Lying

A trick that Holiday spoke about was larger media companies having smaller outlets that have less strict standards. Media ownership is extremely concentrated and even on instagram and social media where it’s thought to be more open, the concentration is still running deeply. Disney owns a large portion of news such as ESPN, ABC, etc. With owning a lot of the media, it means they control the narrative. Sinclaire broadcasting group came under fire recently for having a majority of its anchors recite the same script speaking about fake news and journalistic integrity.

How publishers made money was a true insight for those who did not understand the background analytics of website trafficking and advertisements. The longer an article, the more ads people are going to see. The ads are a combination of third party and publisher owned. These groups don’t care about the relevant content, but that the pages are loaded and the ads are viewed, counting towards their clicks. TMZ has largely capitalized on this by using ‘scoops’ as a method of getting a lot of traffic. It was new information to realize that TMZ was owned by AOL. TMZ capitalized on traffic by releasing malformation and sometimes misinformation. By releasing whatever information they had, true or not, TMZ created a name as a destination for celebrity news and gossip. With getting this information, it was a race to publish content as quickly as possible while also making it noteworthy. These pseudo-exclusive stories showed publishers where exactly there money was going to come from, large stores leads to increased traffic which boosts ads and then creates money. At the end, a great point was made, “Instead of bending the rules…to get it, their main concern for their business model is to protect their reputations. This is a critical difference. Media was once about protecting a name; on the web it is about building one.”

Twitter was briefly covered in part one however at this point, twitter has become a hub of spreading misinformation. With creating clicbaitey titles in 240 characters or less, it’s extremely hard to keep the truth without spreading a bit of misinformation or disinformation. The same thing is occurring with Youtube. Content creators are using thumbnails with misleading content to get people to click on their videos and watch. Twitter can create a large echo chamber for an opinion or pay people to tweet things that aren’t even true. Twitter does not have to contain true information, but because of the reach and influence it has, disinformation should not be spread.

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