Fake News muddying the water

Posted on Friday, February 3, 2017 by Kyle Linzell, Venn GroupNo comments

Fake News: A golden opportunity?

If recent allegations towards the US president-elect are anything to go by, mainstream media is catching onto the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and more importantly, they are desperate to stop it.

In its simplest form, ‘fake news’ is a story published that is incorrect.  More often than not there isn’t any harm intended, corrections can be made and everybody moves on.

The second kind of ‘fake news’ is false content created purely with the intention of generating interest or support towards a person or item of interest. The recent presidential debate was full of this kind of news and certain parties believe that results could have been affected by it.

Large media organisations are now trying to prevent the second kind as much as possible. It muddies the waters whilst affecting the value of the industry. The difficulty in the modern world is that news doesn’t sleep. In recent years there was time to verify stories with sources and research however, there is now a ‘race to place’ the content online to get an advantage over another outlet. One hour is a long time on social media, as it is in contract recruitment, so if you are behind and waiting for verification of facts, surely it’s a risk worth taking to post potential ‘fake news’?

As recruiters, we tackle this same problem every day; particularly as contract specialists where speed is vital. The way I see it, every CV online is a ‘fake CV’ until we verify it with references and qualification checks.

We aren’t blessed with the opportunity of “all publicity is good publicity”. A bad placement will cost the client time and damages a relationship. Placing someone in a job with a false CV is harmful for all involved and can devalue the stringent process that we go through to ensure compliance is met.

Interestingly there is a third kind of ‘fake news’ made famous by Donald Trump. A news piece, written about you, that you just don’t like; whether it’s true or not. Thankfully I don’t see too many recruiters bemoaning a CV purely because they don’t like it but you never know. Unfortunately in this case, Trump is semi-correct. If it’s not sourced and referenced correctly, call it out as fake and let’s clear the water.

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