(MADISON, WI.)–A Madison College professor has some tips on separating fake news from the real thing. Steve Noll defines fake news this way: “a completely made up story, or it could be a legitimate news story in which some of the facts may have been adjusted or inflated to take a particular viewpoint.”Noll said much of the content is being generated by young people in foreign countries. “In a community where maybe their dad makes $5,000 a year, these guys are generating 60, 80, $100,000 a year generating this content,” Noll said. “It’s crazy successful.”
“If you can put these stories out on a website that makes a couple pennies for a thousand clicks on a story, if you put something there that generates a million click throughs on an ad, you can start to generate some serious revenues very, very quickly.”
Noll recommends that news consumers use “TLC” – think, look and check – when assessing potentially fake news. “Does the story make you angry? Is it shocking, breaking news? Any type of story that generates that kind of emotional response should trigger you to sit back and think.” You can also check website urls and look for similar stories on other news sites.
WRN Bob Hague