Donald Trump didn't invent fake news, but it's definitely become a problem during his presidency.
Between the Russian-Facebook scandal and the special prosecutor's "witchhunt," it's hard to know what to believe. One thing for sure, however, is that people are tired of disinformation.
Troublesome as it is, you can do something about fake news affecting your company. Here's how:
Take It Down
In the social media age, consumers and companies can demand that internet publishers take down fake news. Those demands, believe it or not, have been working.
According to research by Stanford and New York University, false news engagements have dropped on Facebook by more than 50 percent in the past two years. The company says "we don't remove false news, but instead significantly reduce its distribution."
YouTube, for its part, says it will reduce "borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways." For example, it will not recommend videos that promote fake medical cures or claim the earth is flat.
But there's the rub. Sometimes there's a fine line between promoting a flat earth and putting up a parking lot.
In other words, companies can do more than eschew fake news. They can fight it with facts on social media, websites, and blogs.
The key is to push current content and to be prepared when the real news breaks. And if a reporter calls, just make sure it's not the National Inquirer.