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The Macedonian digital workers behind the US fake news industry

"In the final weeks of the US presidential election, Veles attained a weird infamy in the most powerful nation on earth; stories in The Guardian and on BuzzFeed revealed that the Macedonian town of 55,000 was the registered home of at least 100 pro-Trump websites, many of them filled with sensationalist, utterly fake news. (The imminent criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton was a popular theme; another was the pope's approval of Trump.) The sites' ample traffic was rewarded handsomely by automated advertising engines, like Google's AdSense. An article in The New Yorker described how President Barack Obama himself spent a day in the final week of the campaign talking 'almost obsessively' about Veles and its 'digital gold rush.'"

(Samanth Subramanian, 15 February 2017, Wired)



20172020advertising • American news sites • baseless claimsCNN • consumerist boom • deceitfulnessdeceptiondestabilised perception • digital gold rush • digital work • digital worker • Donald Trumpfake news • fake news industry • fake news websites • fakery • false claims • false information • false news • false statementsfalsehoodfalsificationfalsify realityfraud • fraudulent behaviour • gullibilityinfamyliesMacedonia • manipulating information • manipulative contrivances • misinformationmistruthsmoralitynews mediapost-truth politicspro-Trump mediasensationalism • sensationalist stories • Titov Veles • true or false • Trump Veles • US election • US election campaign • Veles • viral news media • Yugoslavia


Simon Perkins

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