Fake News, False Claims, Information Overload and Your Target Audience
Today’s The Age newspaper brought us news of ‘E cigarette retailers fined over false claims to users’.
It got us thinking about the environment of fake news and false claims that we find ourselves in; despite having access to information like we never have before.
This news story informs the reader that electronic cigarettes ‘contain harmful carcinogens and toxins’, despite claiming the opposite. The ACCC then needed to contact offending companies and ‘remind them of their Australian Consumer Law obligation’.
Connecting False Advertising & Fake News
Fake news & false claims seem to be connected as they have similar objectives that can intersect. One being social influence, and the other financial gain.
Both exhibit negligence in providing the appropriate information to educate consumers.
As content creators and marketers we need consider the methods of the work we create.
From a legal perspective, it can be detrimental to a company and brand to deliberately (or even mistakenly) mislead a consumer.
Misinformation is Unsustainable
It’s an unsustainable practice and demonstrates a lack of understanding in the connection between a company’s product or service and it’s consumers.
Journalists face the same problem.
Encouraged to develop content fast, they too are are subject to a ‘misinformation ecosystem’.
If, as consumers, we strive for truth and authenticity when seeking information, it makes sense that, as producers, we provide that for our target audiences.
From an IT service provider’s perspective, it makes more sense that we understand our clients’ needs in order to connect them with their prospective customers’ needs.