Fake news and misinformation: The divorce of tech and social media

As the volume of misinformation and fake news continues to rise, trust in media and social media companies is as crucial as it has ever been. Drawing on recent global research on the levels of trustworthiness of both the media and social media sectors, and what attributes are driving opinions - we help these sectors think about what they can do about it.

The author(s)

  • Carl Phillips Corporate Reputation
  • Rachel Skry Corporate Reputation
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The speed at which content is produced, spread, and discussed means the reliability of sources is increasingly coming into question.

The advent of social media has massively increased connectivity so that content can now be shared almost instantaneously around the globe, expediting the speed at which content is produced and delivered. Beyond simply extending reach, changes to the media landscape also impact audience tastes. 

Appetite for content is likely to increase as more-and-more information is made available, and screen-time is only likely to increase. The rise of new media sources has led to increased demand for commentary and soundbites at the expense of long-form analysis. Traditional media outlets have a legal responsibility for the content they produce. They are kept “honest” to a greater or lesser extent when it comes to the reporting of news by the threat of legal action. Social media has no legal responsibility for the content it hosts, a legal difference that has accelerated the surge of fake news and misinformation over the last five years.

As the volume of misinformation and fake news continues to rise, the onus is increasingly on consumers to fact-check what they see and hear.

Fake news and misinformation can have serious consequences and are alleged to have had significant impacts on; election results (Trump 2016), referendum decisions (Brexit 2016), the exacerbation of health risks (COVID-19), and environmental risks (climate change). The question of trust in media (and social media) companies is as crucial as it has ever been. 

Drawing on recent global research on the levels of trustworthiness of both the media and social media sectors, and what attributes are driving opinions - we can help these sectors think about what they can do about it.

In our latest report and the short video above, we provide an overview of global trustworthiness of the sector.
 

The author(s)

  • Carl Phillips Corporate Reputation
  • Rachel Skry Corporate Reputation

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