Just last year, leading publications for the advertising industry, Campaign and Ad Week no less, revealed their foolishly favourite April 1st hoaxes, with praise for Netflix, Harley Davidson, Pimms and H&M and their clever (and believable) pranks.
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bit of fake news on this single, most hilarious day of the year? Ah, hang on a minute…
SO we all know – or should by now – that on April 1st, no one can be trusted. From the strange to the sedate, you do right to question everything and double check your facts. And then we can breathe a collective sigh of relief at midday when it’s all over. Imagine that.
It’s pretty scary to think that just in the last year, fake news has become so commonplace, it’s now second nature to doubt everything on the internet and in the press.
It’s even got to the point where spoof fake news from outlets like The Daily Mash get more airtime than genuine (?) news outlets on our Facebook feeds, not to mention endless proclamations of “fake news” from Trump and other politicians closer to home… it’s like every day is April fools day.
Fake news, though, has always been a thing. Newspapers (remember them?) have stretched the truth to fight their political corners for as long as they’ve been around. The difference now is that untruths or ‘alternative facts’ are amplified, or worse still, corrupted as they work their way around the internet. To the point where who knows where a story came from and how factual it really is?
Zuckerberg’s Facebook has come under massive fire for facilitating fake news. He’s in the press pretty much every day trying to deal with this shit storm, and Facebook has now introduced this nifty little pop up to make it harder to share fake stories. Feels like the tip of the ice-Zuckerberg (sorry), but hey.
And this pretty little pop-up is not so great for all the pranksters out there trying to generate ‘news’ with some well thought out lies. Needless to say, all this does raise the question of whether April Fools may be dying a death on the advertising industry calendar. Sad times, but maybe the really clever creatives out there can turn everything on its head and tell some mind-blowing truths on April 1st. Now that would be nuts!!