THE BIG NAME BRANDS THAT INADVERTENTLY FUND FAKE NEWS

The journalism field has been waking up to the reality of fakery.  Fake news - stories with little or no basis in fact - can quickly acquire a life of their own on the Internet, probably for the same deeply human reason that motorists slow down to gawk at a car wreck.

 Fake news (the item about Yoko Ono and Hillary Clinton is a complete fabrication) appearing alongside an ad from a major automobile manufacturer.   Illustration from  The Wall Street Journal . 

Fake news (the item about Yoko Ono and Hillary Clinton is a complete fabrication) appearing alongside an ad from a major automobile manufacturer.   Illustration from The Wall Street Journal

What's escaped notice, until very recently, is who's footing the bill.  It turns out that ads for major, well-known brands frequently appear alongside fake news items.  It's a reflection of the complexity of online advertising.  "Multiple middlemen are often involved, leaving both publishers and advertisers uncertain about which ads will appear where."  Courtesy The Wall Street Journal.

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