Real vs Fake News: Which One Is Winning in the World of Online Video?

Well, unless I’m looking through the wrong end of the telescope, it appears that real video news is still beating fake video news on Facebook and YouTube. These videos got a total of 13.2 billion views and 420 million engagements. The top 10 Facebook videos which got the most views in their first 30 days were: Jordan Klepper goes to a Trump rally to uncover the hottest new conspiracy theories around Hillary Clinton and President Obama by The Daily Show. And since video marketers all know that YouTube counts views differently than Facebook, here are the top 10 YouTube videos with the most views in their first 30 days: Okay, six of these 20 videos were created by accounts affiliated with a wire service, newspaper, magazine, TV station, radio station, broadcast network or cable network. Now, the remaining nine out of the 20 videos listed above are from non-traditional sources, including the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns themselves. Most Watched News Content: Lessons for Video Publishers So, what lessons can media companies, authentic journalists, video marketers, and political observers learn from the most-watched videos on Facebook and YouTube in the last few months before the United States presidential election of 2016? Second, the lists of Facebook and YouTube videos with the most views in their first 30 days should be a wake-up call for traditional news sources. And, instead of blaming fake news or ideologically biased news for elbowing traditional news sources aside, media companies and political journalists should take a serious look at NowThis News. Today, the mast majority of daily newspapers have adopted banner headlines, eye-catching illustrations, undercover exposés, sports pages, woman’s sections, advice columns, and comic strips. And media companies and journalists need to invest in breaking video news for mobile devices if they want to beat back future threats from ideologically biased or fake news.

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If you use Google Trends, you’ll see that web, image, news, and YouTube search interest in the term, fake news, all spiked right after the United States presidential election was held on November 8, 2016. So, some media companies, authentic journalists, video marketers, and political observers might think fake news is a relatively new phenomenon. But they would be wrong.

After the United States presidential election in 2004, Eric Ulken wrote an article for the Online Journalism Review entitled, “Non-traditional sources cloud Google News results.” His analysis found that “articles returned in Google News searches are significantly more likely to have an ideological bias than those returned in searches on Yahoo News.” Back then, Ulken defined “traditional news source” as website affiliated with a wire service, newspaper, magazine, TV station, radio station, broadcast network or cable network. And he said that “non-traditional sources” found in Google News included “a number of relatively obscure, online-only news sources (some of which are best described as weblogs),” as well as a white supremacist journal, which Google News had dropped from its index after users complained that hate speech was turning up in searches.

So, welcome to the new world of fake news which looks suspiciously like the old world of ideologically biased news. About the only significant difference between the two is that their battleground seems to have shifted over the past 12 years from news search engines to social media sites, and social video platforms.

How Big an Issue is Fake News in Online Video?

So, how big a problem is fake news in the world of online video? Well, unless I’m looking through the wrong end of the telescope, it appears that real video news is still beating fake video news on Facebook and YouTube. However, it’s also worth noting that traditional news sources didn’t create many of the most-watched news videos about these topics: Donald Trump, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the United States Presidential Election of 2016, the United States Presidential Election debates, Mike Pence, Tim Kaine, Republican Party, Democratic Party, the Donald Trump presidential campaign of 2016, or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign of 2016.

According to Tubular Labs, here’s the critical data: 79,700 accounts uploaded 314,000 videos about these topics to Facebook or YouTube in the last 90 days. These videos got a total of 13.2 billion views and 420 million engagements. The average video got 151,000 views and an engagement rate of 2.1x in its first 30 days.

The top 10 Facebook videos which got the most views in their first 30 days were:

  1. Jordan Klepper goes to a Trump rally to uncover the hottest new conspiracy theories around Hillary Clinton and President Obama by The Daily Show.

And since video marketers all know that YouTube counts views differently than Facebook, here are the top 10 YouTube videos with the most views in their first 30 days:

Okay, six of these 20 videos were created by accounts affiliated with a wire service, newspaper, magazine, TV station, radio station, broadcast network or cable network. This includes The Guardian, a National British daily newspaper; CNN; NBC News; and RBC NETWORK BROADCASTING, the first (and so far only) 24-hour business news television channel in Russia.

And five out of the 20 videos were created by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Now, I’ve already written about the role that late night talk shows play in U.S. politics. Some might argue that these are non-traditional news sources, but even the video by The Guardian was about President Obama reading mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel Live. So, there’s a genre of political news that isn’t fake, but it’s isn’t dull and boring. See, it’s funny, but it also makes you think.

Now, the remaining nine out of the 20 videos listed above are from non-traditional sources, including the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns…

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