This isn’t a political post…let’s get that out of the way right at the start.
But as politics still dominate the news and will for some time, chances are that you have heard a few stories about the prevalence – and alleged sway – of fake news sites in this recent election season. The number of fake news sites that have surfaced is well into the hundreds and, for many, their intention wasn’t to elect a particular person into office. According to Beqa Latsabidzean, the owner of one of these news sites, based out of Georgia (the Georgia with the capital of Tbilisi, not Atlanta, our fair city), “this is all about income, nothing more,”
In same New York Times article he goes on to say, “The income comes mostly from Google, which pays a few cents each time a reader sees or clicks on advertisements embedded in one of his websites. Mr. Latsabidze’s best month, which coincided with the bogus hit story about Mexico closing the border, brought in around $6,000, though monthly revenue is usually much lower.”
To be clear, the income is due to their availability as a site to advertise on within the Google ad network. If you run a lot of programmatic buys using that network, it’s a safe bet that your ad may have appeared next to a fake news story. Continue Reading