Fake news in Singapore is becoming a problem in various aspects. So much so that even the Singaporean government passed a bill to combat fake news this year.
It’s no wonder why fake news is such a problematic issue in Singapore but it’s not just about feeding consumers bogus information. On the other hand, fake news has affected the way users consume information, among other things.
Impact of Fake News in Singapore on Perceptions
Take this for an example: say you come across a headline about your favourite celebrity getting into trouble with the law. Do you take the headline’s word for it? Or do you click on the link to the article and cross-check across various platforms?
These days, it seems, even information on the most “reliable” platform has to be double-checked.
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The effects of fake news in Singapore are prevalent in commerce as well. How likely are you to trust a brand before googling for information about reviews across various platforms online?
For instance, a beauty blogger might give a smashing review about a beauty product, but can you really take the blogger’s word for it? Or would you do a bit more research to give yourself more assurance?
It’s a pity, but that’s the world we live in today.
Nevertheless, the world of digital marketing is ever-changing anyway. To stay ahead of the game, one must be adaptable and open to change.
What is Fake News?
“Fake news is just news that is fake, lah.”
While the term “Fake News” is pretty unambiguous, there is a lot more to the term that just news that is untrue.
It is true that fake news incorporates fictitious information that is not supported by evidence. But the phrase also incorporates stories that have some truth but is not 100% accurate.
This is problematic mainly because users are fed with wrong and incorrect information that could unfairly influence their perception of your brand.
The Do’s and Don’t’s of Dealing with Fake News
No one can predict when fake news is going to creep its way to your social networks and search engines. Hopefully, this never happens to you.
But the world is unpredictable, anything can happen.
All you can do is have a solid follow-up plan to deal with it.
Here are some do’s and don’t’s of managing fake news in Singapore.
1. DON’T Panic
Your first reaction probably is to panic. But acting on your emotions would probably be the worst business decision you make.
It’s perfectly normal to react negative to false information about your company. But try not to let it control your business decisions.
2. DON’T Respond With Hate
Sure, it is horrifying to discover fake news about your company or yourself. But getting too fired up and flaring up by posting more hate on social media is just going to add fuel to the fire. Don’t start a war – plain and simple.
3. DON’T Ignore It
It might be tempting to simply ignore fake news, but that might not be the wisest routine.
By ignoring, you may be tempting unsatisfied users and haters to bash your company even more in the digital space. This isn’t going to be smart for your business reputation in the long run.
4. DON’T Admit Defeat
Haters are going to hate, but you can’t let fake news win.
Imagine spending years and years building your brand only to have your reputation slapped with an article that falsely accuses your company of performing misdeeds.
Are you going to let the haters win?
Then again, you don’t need to start a war to deal with fake news in Singapore. Instead…
5. DO Check Before Taking Any Drastic Action
Getting embroiled in false gossip is bad enough. Denying it but later finding out that it is actually true is even worse.
On your end, check if the allegations against your business are really fictitious. Have a look at the source, investigate their background and try to think of a motive.
But if they are indeed true…
6. DO Own Up to It
If you messed up, the best way to salvage your business reputation is to own up to it and apologize.
While you can’t stop users from gossiping about your brand, you can own up to it to prevent more lies from spinning out of control.
Post a public statement on your website or social networks to apologize and take corrective action from there. Assure your target audience that your management will look into matters and prevent such occurrences from taking place again.
7. DO Offer a Solution
If you have been reading our blog long enough, you might have come across our guide to responding to negativity online.
Whether the news is fake or not, responding in a professional manner and presenting solutions is key to preserving a respectable business reputation.
In this case, it would be vital to post a public statement from your company to address the issue and describe how your company will take greater care in administering products and services.
8. (If Necessary…) DO Consult a Specialist
Sometimes dealing with fake news would involve speaking to lawyers and leveraging special handling of copyright disputes. It could also incorporate some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to push the rankings of your website up and the fake sites down.
This is where a professional online reputation management expert can provide some assistance.
No One Likes a Bully
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet just because there’s a picture with a quote next to it. – Abraham Lincoln (source)
Fake news remains a pertinent issue across various industries from politics to marketing in Singapore and the rest of the world. While it is never fun to deal with fake news on a public digital space, fake news is not something you should ever ignore.
Will you step up and fight against fake news in Singapore?