How Fake News is Hurting Small Businesses?

How Fake News is Hurting Small Businesses?

Fake news is a modern trend that is burning the Internet, and ruining the reputation of people and businesses. These websites are crafting viral content on social media platforms, and are ultimately hurting the businesses of targets. Viral articles on Twitter, Facebook and other social websites are hurting the reputations of politicians and other people. Fake stories are more than “prank stories” and are often deliberately designed to ruin the chances of small enterprises. Find out how these are hurting small businesses.

Ruining online reputation

These reports are running down the online reputation of small businesses and ruining the “goodwill”, an important thing that they have earned. Studies have revealed that people do not care to check the credibility of false articles. Multiple false articles getting high rankings on Google searches can put businesses under risk. These can push down actual information about small businesses, including links to the actual company website, blog or social networking profiles. Once this occurs, businesses become invisible online and the real details are pushed to the 2nd or 3rd or the subsequent pages.

Turning customers away

The popular news website BuzzFeed has reported that Channel23News, a false new site, had published articles mentioning that Karri Twist, an Indian restaurant in London, was selling human meat and there were hundreds of complaints about it and the owner had also been arrested. As the restaurant saw a 50% drop in its sales, its owner Shrina Begum tried to explore the cause and traced the cause to the articles published by Channel23News. Thus, fake news has a terrible impact on businesses and can ruin their customer base.

Lack of traceability

In many cases, it is impossible to trace the source of the fake articles. Even when they are traced, many of these can be found to be posted on websites hosted in other countries. Lack of tight international cyber laws means that the perpetrators can go away scot-free. Or they are always lurking in the shadows. Thus, small businesses do not have the clout or legal capital to go after the wrongdoers and bring them to book, and finally clearing their name. Even if they can do so or request search engine companies to remove such malicious content, the articles posted online can stay on for long enough to do long-term damage. Quoting the widely popular author Mark Twain,

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

It can easily be understood how lack of traceability of culprits makes them stronger and indulge in these wrongdoings repeatedly.

Twisting of facts

Fake news, other than ruining the reputation of businesses, can also show them in a very negative light. News articles can quote the statement of company owners but use them in an altogether different context, which puts them at risk of being seen in a very poor light. Random statements can be twisted beyond measure, to serve the interests of competitors and make victims unable to deny their statements.