in internet, politics

A look inside the Fake News business

Scott Shane profiles Cameron Harris for The New York Times:

In a raucous election year defined by made-up stories, Mr. Harris was a home-grown, self-taught practitioner, a boutique operator with no ties to Russian spy agencies or Macedonian fabrication factories. As Mr. Trump takes office this week, the beneficiary of at least a modest electoral boost from a flood of fakery, Mr. Harris and his ersatz-news website,, make for an illuminating tale.

Harris rode the wave of fake news’ popularity on social media to significant revenue, creating a website that was at one point valued at over $100K. Unlike Jestin Coler, another well-profiled fake newser who helped propagate many anti-Hillary Clinton stories, Harris is actually a Trump supporter.

In 2016, fake election news had a significant presence on social media, generating significantly more engagement than news from mainstream outlets.

While misleading websites exist on both the right and left, analyses have shown that those on the right can be misleading at a higher rate.