A new strategy to combat fake news, which has seen a surge in the last month, may not have any immediate effect on the problem.
That’s because the Internet is too big to shut down completely.
But, for now, we need to find ways to protect the sites that serve fake news online.
And one of the most effective methods is advertising, says Adam Adams, a director at digital advertising agency Adorama.
It’s the same strategy used by Google, Facebook and others that use ad blocking to prevent fake news from appearing in their search results.
But Adams says that the tactics are not effective at blocking fake news because the problem is so widespread.
“When people are reading fake news on the Internet, they’re not reading fake content.
They’re reading fake ads,” he says.
Ads are often aimed at buying time or promoting content that’s already there.
If they don’t click, that means they’ve seen the fake content, Adams says.
Advertisers also sometimes use the tactic to get people to click through to the next page or a particular product, he adds.
That can help keep users from clicking on false content.
But it can also create a feedback loop.
“It’s like a clickbait campaign.
You’re promoting a product and then you’re getting people to visit the page and click on the ad,” Adams says, “or at least go to the ad and get their money back.”
Adams says the solution to the problem comes in the form of “ads that have no link to fake content,” a tactic called clickbagging.
He says ads that link to a legitimate content or publication will not show up on the sites with fake content in them.
It means that people won’t click on fake ads on sites that are actually fake.
Ads can also get people thinking about whether they’re buying from trustworthy sources.
“You can tell people that the source of their news is a reputable source, but that there is a chance that it’s fake,” Adams explains.
That could prompt them to share the news on social media or on websites.
But he says that it won’t work if people are afraid of what they’re seeing.
“There’s no way that people are going to share this information and believe it,” he adds, saying that he thinks people would still buy from legitimate sources, such as news sites.
That might not be true for all sites, but Adams says a site with a lot of fake content can easily fall into the trap of being the source.
He also points out that it doesn’t matter whether the fake news is from a legitimate source.
Ads that do have links to fake sites can be useful, but he says it’s not as effective as getting people out to click on ads that are fake.
“The more people see a fake ad, the more likely they are to click it,” Adams adds.
“I think people have a tendency to trust what they see on the internet.”
A study released in November by the Pew Research Center found that the percentage of Americans who believe the news that they’re reading is true has jumped from 31% in 2015 to 48% in 2017.
But the numbers are still way down from a peak in late 2015, which saw a 51% to 56% approval rate.
A large portion of the decline has come in the years since.
“This is probably a good sign,” says Pew Research’s Sarah Meyers, “that people are beginning to think more critically about what they are reading and whether or not it’s credible.”
A lot of the fake information circulating on the Web comes from third parties, including fake news websites.
And while the numbers may be dropping, they may still be growing, as more sites publish their content and as more people become aware of the threat of fake news.
In a recent survey, Pew found that half of Americans believe the spread and influence of fake stories is real, and that about 60% of them believe the fake stories are more likely to be true than the real stories.
“These things are a product of the internet,” Adams notes.
“We have an unprecedented amount of information and information is available to anyone who wants it.”
And Adams says people have more information than ever.
“A lot of these sites are not going to shut themselves down,” he notes.
But when people are exposed to the content, it can be hard to stop them.
“If people can get to a point where they stop being scared of what their friends are reading, then they will probably get to the point where people stop using the websites,” Adams concludes.