The phenomenon of fake news is everywhere on the web. This has made us more skeptic of anything we see on social media. However, just yesterday I noticed a strange, new phenomenon, for which I couldn’t find a proper name! That happened when I saw this tweet from the real account of President Donald Trump:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
No offense for Kim Kardashian, but the first question that comes to mind is:
Is this for real????
— Jennifer Lee (@ilovefooddiet) May 31, 2018
From a celebrity that has become famous for many things but not really for serious, hard to discuss topics, it’s somewhat shocking to see this tweet. No Surprise that that same tweet triggered funny, angry and all sorts of reactions:
Great meeting with my sister’s dog today, talked about the implications of climate change on the financial services industry. pic.twitter.com/pnP5EYBUNL
— Will Bugler (@willbugler) June 1, 2018
Fake it until it becomes unfake news!
At that point when I realized that what I was looking at was a real tweet, I didn’t know how to define that phenomenon. How would you call the opposite or antonym of fake news? in short, something that seems fake, but instead is real but at the same time so paradoxically that it doesn’t seem real.
I thought about it for a day until the word popped into my mind: unfake news. Something that seems fake; Yet you look at it, and everything is pointing at its fakeness. Yet for how much you want it to be false, it only makes you shocked that is true.
It is a kind of unexplainable feeling of surprise, astonishment, wonder and many others at once that it is hard to describe. For one thing, though that is true, it is definitely something that sticks.
In short, I started to wonder, is unfake news a new PR stunt?
When Kim Kardashian makes prison reform grow in popularity overnight!
I’m not a US citizen, and I don’t follow the political agenda of the US. However, for all the things I heard in the last months, I wasn’t even aware that prison reform was a hot topic or something that needed to be hauled in the US. Until I didn’t see that tweet!
I wasn’t the only one. In fact, by looking at Google trends, it is clear that the term spiked overnight:
In other words, if we look at this data, it seems that the tweet really brought a lot of attention to the topic. Of course, attention can be either positive or negative. Yet many ordinary people that might have never expressed their opinion on that, they started to be drawn into the debate. In short, it seems that Kim Kardashian popularity really worked as a booster to bring public attention to this topic:
Whether or not you like Trump. Whether or not you like Kim Kardashian. Whether or not you think prison reform is a priority. There’s no doubt that in your mind, right now this has raised awareness. I’m not discussing whether this is good or bad (this is left to your personal judgment). I’m discussing it as a new phenomenon that is worth your attention.
Thus, as of now, the question stays open: is unfake news a new, effective, PR stunt?