Fake News on Social Media, is it time to quit or look for something new?

Fake News on Social Media, is it time to quit?

With the fast-paced change, we’re all now used to in the digital world, you have to keep your wits about you to stay aware of what’s going on. That’s one of the reasons why we like to do frequent summaries of recent developments.

What social media should I use?


Instagram comes out fighting in the latest round with Snapchat.

Facebook seems to be on a mission with Instagram. From the outside, it looks as if they’re aiming to combine the highly effective and well-regarded business tools of Facebook with the hugely popular messaging capabilities of Snapchat to become the uber-social media.


It’s latest move is to introduce live videos, disappearing messages and alerts if someone takes a screenshot. Sound familiar? It should do as they’re core Snapchat and Facebook features. It’s the merging of Facebook Live with the very point of what Snapchat offers.

With the rate at which Instagram is churning out new features, we’re expecting InstaGlass to be a winner.

Oh, wait, talking of that….


Snapchat spectacle.

Earlier this month, for those who don’t live near one of the vending machines for Spectacles, Snapchat opened a pop-up shop opposite the flagship Apple Store in New York City. The notion of a pop-up shop isn’t particularly noteworthy but the layout of this store is particularly interesting in its minimal design:

  • Lots of crowd control barriers
  • Some screens showcasing Spectacles
  • One bot selling the actual Spectacles

Not a human in sight.

Maybe it’s a sign of what’s to come in the future of our High Street?!

Fake news on Facebook

In the wake of some criticism from Barack Obama about the threat to democracy posed by misinformation, Mark Zuckerberg came out promising new measures to tackle the level of fake news appearing in our feeds.


It’s not the first time Facebook has faced this kind of criticism; it’s been facing an ever increasing amount since it fired the human news team in Summer. Facebook has argued that they’re constantly working to tackle this issue with the news feed algorithm already penalising clickbait, spam and scams so they’re less likely to be seen.


Like Mark himself pointed out, it’s likely to be quite an ongoing battle for Facebook to get the balance right between blocking fake news and drifting into censorship.

Is it time to quit social media?

Kendall Jenner takes a break from Instagram, Kim Kardashian has stopped all social media completely since the robbery in Paris a few weeks ago and now Cal Newport (Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University) has published an essay in the New York Times arguing that social media is a waste of time. Not only that but also that social media reduces your ability to create anything of value.

Newport says:

"Social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable. Any 16-year-old with a smartphone can invent a hashtag or repost a viral article. The idea that if you engage in enough of this low-value activity, it will somehow add up to something of high value in your career is the same dubious alchemy that forms the core of most snake oil and flimflam in business.”

Instead he argues:

"The foundation to achievement and fulfillment, almost without exception, requires that you hone a useful craft and then apply it to things that people care about. If you do that, the rest will work itself out, regardless of the size of your Instagram following."


Clearly, we don’t wholeheartedly agree with Cal Newport as we do believe that social media offers value. In fact, we’ve gone as far as to argue that digital marketing is sweeter than Christmas morning. There are still some things that we can take from this:


  1. Focus on quality - don’t just make noise for the sake of it, add something meaningful to the conversation.
  2. Stay safe online - sadly, Kim K found this out in a highly traumatic way.
  3. When you’re as famous as Kendall Jenner, taking a break doesn’t harm your following - in fact, it’ll probably generate enough publicity in itself that it’ll fill the void your absence has left.



Want to talk through making the most of what social media can offer you? Get in touch, or tweet me @anthonyjohns0n to arrange a chat.

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