The Small Macedonian Town That Runs Hundreds of Fake US Politics Websites


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The Small Macedonian Town That Runs Hundreds of Fake US Politics Websites (bbc.com)






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BeauHD

from the political-fiction dept.

dryriver writes: BBC Future has the story of “Tamara” (not her real name) who used to be paid 24 euros a day to rewrite U.S. news stories for a slew of “fake news” U.S. politics websites targeted at American news readers but run out of Velev, Macedonia. Basically, Tamara’s handler “Marco” would send her eight real U.S. politics news stories via email every morning, asking Tamara to rewrite them with very extreme political views and slants injected into them. Tamara was often tasked with writing horrible things about Muslims for example, making up heinous crimes they had committed in various places, and injecting those made-up falsehoods into otherwise legit-looking news articles. The rewritten articles, which were engineered to trigger strong reactions in readers, went on Facebook — where Marco had over 2,000,000 likes — and on a number of “American looking” fake news websites also run by Marco out of Macedonia. On a good day, Marco would earn up to 2,000 euros a day from Google ad revenues for his fake news U.S. politics websites. Tamara, who was only paid 3 euros per article she rewrote, muses in the BBC Future article about how stupid people must be to eat up the falsehoods that she, Marco and others put online everyday. She characterizes the content of the rewritten articles as “insultingly ridiculous” and “obviously fake,” but many American news readers apparently ate them up and frequently believed what they read.

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