It’s been three months since a historic U.S. presidential election that pitted a billionaire businessman, who previously never ran for public office, against a 30-year public servant who was the first female nominee of a major political party. As the state-by-state results rolled in late into the evening and descended into the wee hours of the morning, most major media outlets begrudgingly declared the winner. Like a hanging chad blowing in the wind, each outlet’s entourage of political pundits was bewildered, asking,”How did the polls get it sooo wrong?” To a much lesser and refreshing extent, admissions of honesty were expressed that ranged from, “We blew it,” to “Let’s see if the boss renews my contract.”
Many hypotheses were and continue to be offered about the cause of the “surprising results.” Several invoked the fragile reliability of casino betting odds (no joking!), whereas most revolved around the role of “fake news,” deliberately false or misleading reports by disreputable sources (the The New York Times examined one of these in depth). This hypothesis claims that “fake news” posted on Facebook (and spread to other social media channels) potentially influenced the election results. Given that well over 50 percent of those eligible to vote in the U.S. obtain all or part of their news via social media, such claims are disturbing when you consider that anyone can write “news” and post it for anyone to read and believe.
Make no mistake about it, fake news occurs at your company too, and not only in the U.S. The impact that fake news has on a company’s reputation, employee confidence, customer trust and bottom line can be substantial.
Addressing “fake news,” internally and externally
To combat erroneous information, incorrect assumptions,...
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