How to Make Fake News
Fake News starts with a seed of real news. You grab a small fact from a social trend & distort it without fear of limits, until it becomes tantalizing to a large group of people - transforming bits of reality into what some fake newsers call 'red meat.'
The audience of fake news is not just anybody, either: fake news is not for a general audience. Fake news is written for a large niche who's on the constant lookout for any verification of their wildest fears & desires. Influencing this tribal niche will effect the general world. But the fake news is not written with the general world in mind. It's red meat for the wild animals.
Do not worry about how obviously fake the article appears. It doesn't matter to the audience, who will click your link and look at the ads embedded in the article. It doesn't even matter if this audience returns to your website, nor reads the article beyond the first paragraph.
Virality is the only dogma of fake news.
Ask yourself, "Would your audience go nuts over this? Is this what they want to hear right now?"
Verify the rumors of your audiences with 'facts.'
Echo their wildest fantasies with cherry-picked news, spun wildly out of control.
Use the long-tail formula of content creation. Keep pumping out fake news articles until something catches on in your audience's imagination / share-clicking finger. Once something circulates around 1,000,000 views or more, you have the potential to make a few thousand dollars just from a single viral article.
The best strategy that paid off though, was to get real people – like Trump fanatics or even the real media – to latch on to the stories and spread them to their own networks. Many times these people only relied on the headlines and didn’t even read the content.
During he 2016 election, it wasn't simply Macedonian teens being funded by Russian intelligence pumping out fake news in micro-targeted batches. American opportunists, modern day P. T. Barnums living in the suburbs, were the other half of this equation. Because it is extremely lucrative in the modern market to make fake news.
Numbers suggest fake news has equal and/or more reach, impact, and monetization than real news.
For example, both CNN & InfoWars have 2 million + subscribers on YouTube.
Jestin Coler, a fake news mogul located in California, was the CEO behind the fake news website "The Denver Guardian" during the 2016 election. They only published one story: "FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead."
That fake news article alone received over half a million engagements on Facebook.
At any given time, Coler says, he has between 20 and 25 writers. And it was one of them who wrote the story in the "Denver Guardian" that an FBI agent who leaked Clinton emails was killed. Coler says that over 10 days the site got 1.6 million views. He says stories like this work because they fit into existing right-wing conspiracy theories.
"The people wanted to hear this," he says. "So all it took was to write that story. Everything about it was fictional: the town, the people, the sheriff, the FBI guy. And then ... our social media guys kind of go out and do a little dropping it throughout Trump groups and Trump forums and boy it spread like wildfire."