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How the U.S. Presidential Election Influenced Changes at Facebook

Facebook Fake News
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Regardless of whether or not you were happy with the results of the U.S. presidential election last week, odds are you saw at least one news article on Facebook that you clicked on during the campaign. Maybe you took action and liked it; maybe it made you angry and you commented on it; maybe you agreed with the author and shared it; or maybe you were a quiet bystander who read the content and kept your thoughts to yourself – hard to do this year! No matter which action you took, or didn’t take, Facebook most likely played a role in how you perceived the election throughout the past year.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, estimates two million people registered to vote after seeing a reminder at the top of their newsfeed. In addition, the presidential campaign in its entirety generated 8.8 billion likes, posts, comments and shares since 2015.

The problem with these statistics is that some of the stories shared throughout this time period were completely falsified. There’s a chance you liked a fake news story generated by companies with no political affiliation or even journalistic focus. The majority of these websites producing fake content are paid based on the traffic each article receives – the more shocking the headline, the more clicks it garners and the more money that comes in. They bank on the public not looking closely enough to see if their story is from a credible source, then hope they share it to increase traffic back to their website, just like your staffing firm would do for your authentic blog post. One story that was trending during the election came from a site where “fakingnews” was used in the domain name!

62 percent of Americans get their news from social media, especially millennials, and 44 percent report getting their news from Facebook. These findings bring up questions surrounding the ethics of the social media giant. As of October, Facebook says “it will not place ads from fake news publishers on third party apps or websites, because the content falls under the broader category of ‘illegal, misleading or deceptive’ content.”

Did the fake news and advertisements influence the outcome of the election? Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t think so. In fact, Facebook’s founder says it’s “a pretty crazy idea”. Perhaps it is too assumptive to say a social media outlet could impact the results of an event as massive as the United States’ presidential election. However, it most likely altered our thoughts at one point or another. How many of us saw this quote from Donald Trump in our Facebook feeds?

Facebook Fake News

Snopes confirmed that the president-elect never said those words – not in 1998 when it is attributed to him, or in 2015 when this meme began its circulation.

What does this mean for staffing firms?

The issue of fake news and the sites that promote them proves how difficult it is to see any one blog post or any one piece of content in your news feed. Facebook users sharing stories that aren’t true add to the daily clutter that prevents your factual content from getting in front of the potential candidates you’re targeting. Thankfully, there are ways to step up your social media game and Haley Marketing can help.

Be seen on Facebook and other major social media outlets

With Social Pro by Haley Marketing, one of our expert Social Media Marketing Advisors will take ownership of developing your organization’s voice on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By posting quality blog posts, top jobs, and other branded share-worthy content every day, your firm will be positioned as a premier resource for job seekers and employers within your target market.

Don’t run your social media campaign by hoping it will be successful; trust the experts to get it right for your business. Contact us today to learn how Social Pro can positively impact your staffing firm.

Facebook Fake News

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