Lord Neil Gibson is no stranger to fake media. Only recently has the issue of fake news and fake media been brought into the national spotlight, with Donald Trump bringing up the topic in nearly every speech he makes. In Trump’s case, he is referring to the tendency of the television and magazine outlets taking actual stories and presenting them in a way that slants the bias one way or another, generally in favor of the tone of the network or outlet. If a network is generally anti-Trump, they will present almost any news about him in a way that will make people believe that he is doing poorly. Although they use truthful elements instead of outright lies in order to slant their stories one way or another, the term “fake news” has been used to convey the fact that the issues are not being presented without bias. Trump has done a good job at bringing this issue to light with regards to television and newspapers, but has not yet brought up possibly the biggest platform for fake news on the planet, that platform being the internet. Fake news can be used to harm and slander public figures and private business people online, as the example of Lord Neil Gibson illustrates.
Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson was attacked by a business rival years ago in order to defame his reputation and make it difficult for him to secure relationships which are the lifesblood of his business The attacker understood that by limiting Gibson’s ability to secure relationships, it would limit his ability to successfully complete development projects. In order to achieve this goal, the strategy used was to create several websites dedicated to Gibson and his businesses and populate them with publicly available information, thus establishing a level of trust by search engines. Once this task was completed, the attacker began creating completely fabricated stories and posting them within the same outlets, tricking search engines into indexing completely false information right along side truthful information. When a researcher Googled Gibson’s name at that point, they were presented with a large amount of negative information that would possibly make them reconsider doing business with Gibson, even though that information was completely false. On the internet there is no verification process for truth, and anything that someone wants to say about someone else can be distributed.
Gibson began the task of cleaning up his reputation through a series of legal battles that ultimately decided in his favor, causing the websites to be taken down. Unfortunately, the attacker first cloned the information and distributed it to unaffiliated websites, causing it to re-index on search engines. Gibson responded by creating a series of his own websites dedicated to spreading the truthful information about his business dealings. Due to the difficulty in tracking down and removing every instance of a mirrored piece of content, it is far better to simply overwhelm the false news with truth, and allow Google to index the true stories for all researchers to see. While the job is far from done, Lord Gibson is winning the war against fake news.