According to Intelligencer, the rate of fakeness on the internet has been growing in recent years. In fact, “year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human,” with much of that activity coming from bots.
“The ‘fakeness’ of the…internet is less a calculable falsehood and more a particular quality of experience — the uncanny sense that what you encounter online is not “real” but is also undeniably not ‘fake,’ and indeed may be both at once, or in succession,” Intelligencer says.
Decision makers looking to boost profits, customer base, credibility and more should keep the following areas mind, as they are prone to being affected by “fakeness:”
Metrics – While metrics are considered to be “countable, trackable, and verifiable,” oftentimes, disingenuous figures are reported to users. Intelligencer says that even Facebook, “the world’s greatest data–gathering organization,” intentionally misreported metrics to users. For example, Facebook admitted to misreporting the data on Facebook Pages, including the rate at which viewers completed ad videos, the number of views and videos received via Facebook’s mobile site, and other ways.
People – Decision makers may run into cases were certain sites, such as YouTube, include fake subscribers, or cases where people can buy video views for a sum of money. When this happens, decision makers and other users are led to believe that the subscriber and views are real people with genuine interest in a business’s videos, products, or services. However, “more than likely, they come from bots,” Intelligencer says.
Business – While money is often real during a business exchange, the transaction might not be. Intelligencer says that cases of fake price-gouging and copyright-stealing are commonly seen nowadays, too. For example, decision makers may see this when an Amazon reseller buys products from other Amazon businesses, and resells those items at a higher price back on Amazon.
Content – False content is commonly seen in the form of boot-legged videos and counterfeit realities, such as through “deep fakes” (like replacing the faces of people in a video with those of a celebrity). Intelligencer says that fake content can be tough to detect, but encourages decision makers to keep an eye out for it: “it’s hard, watching it…[and trying] to understand where it came from and what it means that the view count beneath it is continually ticking up.”