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Fake News: Advertising/Publicity

How to Identify and Avoid Fake News

Sponsored Content or Native Advertising

Publicity is often masked as news. Companies will often put out ads that look like newspaper articles. This is called "Sponsored Content." All newspapers have sponsored content. They charge companies for this advertising and make a lot of money doing it. The downside for news consumers is that these advertisements look a lot like regular articles. Below is an example:

Sponsored content is also known as native advertising. Native advertising has become a big issue in the news world. The video below is a clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In the clip, Oliver looks at the history of native advertising and why it is a problem.

Please not that this clip may contain strong language and adult content:


Checking Purpose

Oftentimes, websites other than those for traditional news sources such as newspapers will provide news to readers. While the news can be legitimate and helpful, it is always important to understand that there maybe an additional, underlying purpose to this news. For example, the news may be a way of self promotion. For example, a professional sports company, such as the NBA or NFL, might provide news on players, teams and games, but the purpose of this news is to PROMOTE them. The NBA or NFL are not going to provide news that hurts their bottom line.