One reason why, in this supposedly digital age, Internet news sites are still seen as the poor cousins of their paper counterparts is the proliferation of bogus stories. This acquired endemic proportions during the last election season, with many phony news targeting Trump supporters. In any case, Facebook and Google have said enough is enough, and are taking action to excise falsehoods from their sites.
Macedonian kids may have had something to do with the proliferation of these lies around the web. Many of them were tracked down to the town of Veles (population 48,000) where young nerds found a niche in Trump supporters.
These “digital entrepreneurs” from Macedonia wooed them with false ads and news — like Denzel Washington supporting Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency and the like — not out of political conviction, but for the cents on the dollar that rewards each click. Those amounts may not count for much in the States but it’s more respectable money in the former Yugoslavian republic.
So, in these times of intense ideological polarization, it is refreshing to hear that there is a more common, less threatening cause at the root of this evil. To paraphrase an old, mildly chauvinistic French saying, cherchez l’argent.