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Fake News

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There has always been inaccurate reporting, so why the emphasis now on fake news? In this Vlog, Grant explains that it’s us who have changed, not the news – and why that’s important for your business.

Have you ever wondered why suddenly there’s so much fake news about?

I mean, if you look historically, there’s always been inaccurate reporting. So why now the emphasis on fake news?

It’s not the news that’s changed.

It’s us.

And that’s important for your business.

The paradox of social media is this: you’d have thought it would make us more expansive and open-minded, but the reality is quite different. Social media has made the world so much more complex and difficult to understand that what we tend to do is take comfort from hanging out with communities of people just like ourselves.

With more people getting their news today from social networks – and, therefore, from social sharing – than from broadcast and traditional media, that means many many people are now less exposed to different points of view than they were in a previous era.

We know that if one tends to hear their own views reflected back at them all the time, they’re likely to become more extreme in those views, whereas listening to different points of view tends to make people more moderate. Therefore, we have more people who are more extreme in their views than ever before.

This explains the phenomenon of fake news.

The reality is, is that when we listen to opinions that run counter to our beliefs, we are inclined to just not believe it and therefore we call it fake news.

So why does this matter to your business?

If people are increasingly hanging out in like-minded communities, as a business, you need to identify which community you want to serve. By interests and values, and possibly geography, which communities could you service best?

For example, financiers working in the city who love the gym and take their health seriously. Or music-loving entrepreneurs, who’re running their own business and working on really tight budgets.

In a world increasingly being filled with polarized communities, it becomes a very important strategic decision for your business to understand which community it’s there to serve.

Ask yourself this, “In a world if fake news, which communities will find you most authentic?”

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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Comments

  1. Whilst on one level what Grant says about fake news, social media and less people being exposed to different views and therefore there are more extreme people than ever before; these seem to be to be mainly assertions. Have they ever been studied and measured?

    1. Author

      Hi Tim, thank you for your interesting comment. As this video is designed to be a short and succinct ‘think piece’ I don’t quote sources. There have been, and continue to be, many studies carried out in this area. Of course, there are diverse opinions and views. However, there is strong evidence to back up the points that I make in this video.
      For example, see https://www.wired.com/2016/11/facebook-echo-chamber/

      This phenomenon has also been discussed by people such as Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein in his work on group polarisation. It is not limited to the online world either. You may be interested to read The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop.

  2. Thank you Grant; I thought that there must be more behind what you were saying. I will investigate those sources with interest. Thanks for the great video anyways

    1. Author

      Thank you Tim for your questions. I really appreciate your interest. I am glad that you enjoy the videos.

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