Responsibility in a post truth world

Google and Facebook have been accused of influencing the US election outcome by allowing fake news to be distributed via their platforms. Both have since announced they will ban such sites, although this may need to be more about good intent than hard policy.

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Our take

This raises the question as to the responsibility of marketers being unwittingly associated with this content, hence defacto endorsers. The lengthy election campaigning was overloaded with misinformation and untruths across all platforms. Fake news is not unique to social media, or the US Election – look at the prevalence in gossip magazines. The irony of our world is that we have more news choice than ever before, yet many choose to engage with our own version of the truth. Facebook’s algorithm feeds this truth from our behaviour.
Marketers messages can be tainted by association through placement adjacency. Banning fake news sites will not stop fake news. More scrutiny of ad placement constraints is the real solution, to protect the clients we serve.

Sandra Wiles

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