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What Are the Real Consequences of Fake Financial News?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or AICPA, released the results of a new survey revealing the startling impact that fake financial news is having on Americans' ability to make retirement, investment and healthcare decisions. Fake news is no longer a simple distraction or nuisance, it is a dangerous tool subverting investing habits and people are concerned. 

Learn more about the AICPA survey from the release issued on Business Wire.

There is a proven antibiotic to treat exposure to fake news, unfortunately it’s time consuming and involves vetting and verifying information. To the casual news consumer this solution treats the fake news epidemic successfully, turning it into nothing more than an inconvenience and at most temporary embarrassment in the form of a social media post. To the investing community that relies on quick transactions based on constantly changing trends, however, fake news is becoming a serious problem. 

While more than 63% of Americans say that the spread of fake news has made it more difficult to make critical financial decisions, the real red flag is that only 14% expect the fake financial news epidemic to subside and become less prevalent in the next few years. This pessimistic outlook is a reflection of today’s media landscape. However, tools do exist to ensure consumption of quality, factual news.

One consistent bright spot is the trusted news content provided by commercial newswires, which publish news directly from thoroughly vetted sources - brands, corporations and organizations whose announcements move the markets.

To further narrow the field, a long-tenured commercial newswire such as Business Wire has earned the hard-won trust of journalists and other downstream news consumers – credibility that took decades to establish and almost a foreign concept in today’s pop-up digital media environment. This proud tradition enables companies of all sizes to confidently submit press releases for distribution across the wire and allows those reporting on and consuming the end product to be equally confident in the veracity of the material being disseminated. 

A commercial newswire is a widely relied upon method used to meet Regulation FD, which ensures all interested parties have access to corporate news and financial data at the same time. While the SEC has amended its guidance on disclosure to include social channels under certain circumstances, in reality, social channels were not designed or positioned to be disclosure vehicles. Twitter, Facebook and other services modify the visibility of all content to maximize their own advertising revenues. Social media platforms are also plagued by fake news, making it more difficult to discern fact from fiction.  As such, the vast majority of public issuers utilize commercial newswires to ensure broad and simultaneous reach to the investing public.

While fake news is believed to be here for a while, the platforms that have spent decades developing trust from both newsmakers and news consumers continue to service the public with valid information. It’s easier to focus on where to look for real financial news when you know where it’s coming from.