In the last US presidential election, there were some unexpected beneficiaries. They were a group of ‘entrepreneurs’ in Macedonia, who knew how to see the potential of these contents as a source of traffic and who set out to create news and more related news. They published what had traffic, they made up the content and they made cash with the ads. It was a manna for those who knew how to see it.Its existence became a kind of viral scandal, an example of the fake news boom and its problems. The existence of the sites was threatened when everything exploded and their network was cut off (many of them simply used AdSense to monetize what they did), but to date they had already done business.Fake news existed because they were a powerful misinformation tool, true, but also because for some players they were simply a way of making cash. Controversial topics often generate a flood of clicks, increasing traffic numbers. The more traffic, the more potential interest to sell ads.

It was the way the internet has Denmark Phone Number List worked (that traffic-ad balance) for years.Brands discovered, with this explosion, that not all traffic data was worth it and that, as successful as some news may seem, it was actually assets that were toxic to their brand image, assets that were not worth partnering with. Over the past few years, there has been a change in the way things look and advertising platforms have started to offer more tools to control where ads appear.Does this mean that fake news is no longer profitable? The truth is, not exactly.They move a lot of moneyAs recently demonstrated an investigation that includes the Financial Times , the most popular sites in Europe misinformation not only remain, but continue to benefit from online advertising. They continue to be part of the network of spaces that have ads managed by Google and continue to make a notable profit.

According to the conclusions of the Global Disinformation Index, the agency responsible for the study that collects the FT , the European fake news industry takes every year 75 million dollars in advertising revenue. Many of these ads are served by Google’s online advertising platform – they are ads from its AdSense network.Ad networks are not actingAnd while this is happening, the advertising platforms, no matter how much they promise and how much they assure, are not taking effective measures to block this from happening. “It’s not easy for Google and other platforms to make these decisions themselves,” Clare Melford, the co-founder of the Global Disinformation Index, tells the FT.

If they block these disinformation platforms, some linked to Russia and others to far-right groups, they fear that they will end up being forced to take down other sites that are not spaces for fake news. “If they stop a state-sponsored site, for example, then they might have to dump France 24, which is owned by the French state,” Melford adds. France 24 is a ‘serious’ medium. For Google, adds another expert, this whole situation is something terrifying, so it prefers to consider all media innocent of entry, even if this is benefiting from misinformation.Google, for its part, has criticized the study. He believes that the estimates are not correct and that the methodology is opaque.

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