Fakery and the internet


A startling amount of the internet is fake in one way or another, studies found in 2018. Less than 60% of web traffic is human; a 2013 study found that at least half of YouTube traffic was bots masquerading as people; in November 2018 the US Justice Department revealed that eight people were accused of stealing $36 million in digital advertising fraud that involved sending fake traffic to spoofed websites which were made to look to advertisers like premium publishers. Also fake in at least some cases: metrics, including those produced by Facebook; YouTube channel subscribers; CGI Instagram influencers; Amazon Marketplace sellers; anonymously produced videos; "deepfakes" images and videos; and politics. Finally, on many sites we ourselves are presumed to be fake, and must fill out Captchas to prove our reality. The result is that trust has gone; reform is essential.

Writer: Max Read
Publication: New York Magazine

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