Social media monitoring has become essential for B2B and B2C businesses. In the US, 1 out of 2 adults stays up to date with news from social media, and the majority of businesses are present and advertise on social media platforms.
Recently, large brands have been involved in fake news scandals that have caused great damage to their brand image. As the influence of social media grows in the buyer’s journey, it has become essential for businesses to detect and combat manipulated information that may harm them.
In this article, we walk you through the reasons behind fake news existence, how to fight and prevent damage to your brand image, and tools to assist in your media monitoring activities.
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Fake news can be dangerous for your businesses
If some brands have used fake news as part of their marketing strategy, most organisations have seen their market shares drop dramatically after sharing fake news. With irreparable damage to their brand’s perception in the consumer’s eyes as a result.
But why do people create fake news in the first place?
Creating false content can be a lucrative business in social media, hence the importance of media monitoring. Fake news content is created with the intent of provoking a strong emotional reaction from the viewer. It uses shock techniques that make people want to amplify its reach. Therefore, it’s a highly shareable piece of content that disseminates very fast on social media.
There are three main reasons why people create fake news:
- To generate clicks to a website and improve its SEO (clickbait headlines)
- To share propaganda (conspiracy theories)
- To damage a person or business’ reputation (fake news)
Misleading content can take different forms. It can be real information in a false context or manipulated content. Unfortunately, social media platforms often fail to stop the dissemination of malicious content. Therefore, businesses must implement a media monitoring strategy.
Why does fake news spread fast?
Research has shown that misinformation spreads faster on social media platforms for a few reasons:
- Social media allows everyone to create real or fake content with very low barriers.
- Social media acts as an “echo chamber”, reinforcing preexisting beliefs within a group of thinkers.
- People on social media don’t engage with content in a critical way, they rarely study the information in-depth and sometimes share without reading.
- Fake news is eye-catching and highly shareable.
This is the reason why all businesses should implement a thorough social media monitoring process and fact-check the content they relay.
Fighting disinformation on social media: distinguish false content from real information
The power of fake news comes from how believable it looks. Therefore, media monitoring and identifying fake news can be a daunting task. As a brand, it’s essential to verify the accuracy of the content we share on social media and maintain credibility.
What to do if you detect a piece of fake news?
If you detect misleading content, it’s important to take action and prevent it from spreading online. Here are two simple actions to take that will help you fight against fake news.
1. Report the post
If you have identified a piece of fake news, report it immediately to the platform moderators. Most social media platforms allow you to report content in a few clicks. This will flag the post and notify moderators to review it and take appropriate action.
2. Call it out
If you are absolutely certain that a piece of information is false, you post a comment to call it out. Make sure you have researched the topic and reference credible resources to back you up. Additionally, this might put a light on the content, and the more people will report it the faster it will be taken down.
Media monitoring tips: software that will save your time
With the spread of fake news, we have seen a development in technologies that can help verify and compare content to avoid misinformation. Here are some useful software for media monitoring and news checking.
Tools to verify facts
If you’re conducting social media monitoring activities. These online software can help with fact-checking and fake news detection.
The Factual team has developed an algorithm that reviews 10,000+ news articles daily. They analyze 4 metrics (site quality, author’s expertise, sources, and one of the writing) to rate content credibility. You can use their website, mobile app, or Chrome extension to measure how informative a piece of content is.
Logically is a technology company that leverages AI to fight misinformation. From their app, you can monitor and detect harmful content for your business. Automated alerts notify you in case of problematic social mentions so you can mitigate risk quickly.
Full Fact won the 2019 Google AI Impact Challenge. They’re a team of independent fact-checkers and developers who find and expose harmful online content. You can use their website to get accurate facts on various topics.
Tools to verify images
Fake news often uses manipulated imagery to create a visual impact. Here are some tools to detect manipulated or photoshopped pictures.
This tool uses an AI algorithm to detect if a digital image has been altered. It provides tools and training for digital picture analysis, including error level analysis, metadata, and tutorials. Simply upload your picture on FotoForensics to find out if it has been modified in Photoshop.
This Google tool looks up for visually similar images from around the web. Upload your image and find out if other websites have published the same picture.
Get started with media monitoring
But even if fake news is a growing concern for brands and businesses, research mainly focused on fake news in the political sphere and less on business and marketing impacts.At Mowgli, we help businesses improve their brand image on social media. If you’re looking to boost your social content and implement a media monitoring strategy, contact us!