Hillary Clinton is a flawed person

“World Capital of Lies” - Where Pope Trump votes and Hillary Clinton is a pedophile

Jump to content
  1. Culture
  2. Society & Religion
  3. Current article
content

In 2016, students from the Macedonian city of Veles wrote fake news that influenced the US election campaign. And today?

"The Pope recommends Donald Trump for election", "Hillary Clinton under a blanket with a child molester ring". Fictional stories like this would probably have decided the US election two years ago. This is the conclusion of a study by Ohio State University, the link opens in a new window.

Many of the false reports were spread through websites from Veles, a Macedonian city with 38,000 inhabitants, about the size of Thun. Mayor Ace Kocevski is still embarrassed: "I want the city to be known and famous for positive things and not for such things."

Fig. 1/2
Fig. 2/2

Suddenly there was money

In the 1980s, when the country was still called Yugoslavia, Veles was a flourishing industrial city. 4000 people worked in the local porcelain factory. Today the factory is in ruins and almost every second young person is unemployed. Many emigrate.

Most of the people who spread fake news here were at one point or another in the city's technical middle school. Teacher Gjorgji Gjorgjiev remembers the wild time: “All of a sudden we saw expensive cars, expensive clothes, expensive cell phones. We saw this change in cafes, clothing stores and gas stations ».

The man who accidentally made Donald Trump president

The mastermind behind the Macedonian fake news industry is Mirko Ceselkoski. He taught the young people the craft.

The internet marketing expert still calls himself "The Man Who Accidentally Made Donald Trump President" for promotional purposes.

He says today: “What I did may not have been ethical. But the whole world did. It ended up becoming an epicenter of fake news. The world needed a scapegoat and that was us ».

From slimming to propaganda

Ceselkoski runs a successful internet marketing academy in Skopje. His students started with websites about healthy eating, slimming diets and fast cars. "Then we noticed that people stay much more intensively and longer on the political side and that you can earn more money there."

In a short period of time, some had so many visitors to their sites, and made so much money, that they were ready to work around the clock. Some of them even hired American students to write texts for them today.

Fake news business: This is how it's done

Open the box Close the box
  • First, the operator creates a website with a catchy name (e.g. "USA Politics" or "USA Conservative"). The page should look similar to known pages so that readers can quickly gain confidence.
  • The page is then registered with Google AdSense. Google is now placing advertising banners on the site.
  • Then the operator invents or copies the most exciting stories about politicians and gives them a crisp title and photos.
  • Now the stories are spread on Facebook. To do this, the operator needs as many profiles as possible. You can create these yourself or buy them. Now Facebook users (especially in the USA) can find the articles and visit the website.
  • As soon as they click on an advertising banner there, the operator earns a small amount. Click a lot, he deserves a lot. Some of them became millionaires.

"The party is over"

Then the public became aware of the fake news from Veles. Google stopped payments and Facebook shut down Macedonian profiles with political content. The flow of Google money to the “city of liars” dried up. Even if some still keep afloat with pages about healthy eating.

"The party is over," says website developer Borche Pechev. He had built dozens of websites for the fake news industry. "If you try to share a political story from a computer in Macedonia on an American Facebook group today, Facebook will immediately deactivate your account."

Mastermind Mirko Ceselkoski says: “It had to end at some point. But I am proud that I have changed the lives of many people here in this country. "

However: In the neighboring countries of Albania, Kosovo and Serbia, there should be people who are already setting up their websites for the US election campaign in 2020.

  1. Culture
  2. Society & Religion
  3. Current article

Most read articles

Scroll left Scroll right

Social login

For the registration we need additional information about yourself.

{* #socialRegistrationForm *} {* firstName *} {* lastName *} {* emailAddress *} {* displayName *} {* mobile *} {* addressCity *} {* / socialRegistrationForm *}

Welcome back

Please log in to enter a comment.

{* loginWidget *} Use a different account

Login and register


Log In

{* #signInForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* currentPassword *} Forgot your password? {* / signInForm *}

Simply log in with your social media account or your Apple ID

{* loginWidget *}

Create a new password

Enter the email address of your user account. We will then send you a link that you can use to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* / forgotPasswordForm *}

Create a new password

You will shortly receive an email with a link to renew your password.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Welcome back

Please log in to enter a comment.

{* #signInForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* currentPassword *} Forgot your password? {* / signInForm *} Use a different account

Technical error

Oh oops! A technical issue occured. Please try again later or contact our customer service.

Confirm mobile number

So that you can enter a comment, we ask you to confirm your mobile number. We will send you an SMS code to the mobile number.

There has been an error. Please try again or contact our customer service.

Too many codes have already been requested for the mobile number. The function is blocked to prevent misuse.

Too many attempts. Please request a new code or contact our customer service.

Change mobile number

Too many attempts. Please request a new code or contact our customer service.

This mobile number is already in use. Please change your mobile number or contact our customer service.

Change mobile number

The maximum number of codes for the specified number has been reached. No more codes can be created.

Confirm email address

We have sent you an email at the address {* emailAddressData *} Posted. Please check your e-mail inbox and confirm your account using the activation link you received.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Adjust user data

{* resendLink *}

Register and login


to register

With an SRF account, you have the option of entering comments on our website and in the SRF app.

{* #registrationForm *} {* firstName *} {* lastName *} {* emailAddress *} {* displayName *} {* mobile *} {* addressCity *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / registrationForm *}

Confirm email address

We have sent you an email at the address {* emailAddressData *} Posted. Please check your e-mail inbox and confirm your account using the activation link you received.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Adjust user data

{* resendLink *}

Your activation email has been sent

Please check your e-mail inbox. The activation email has been sent.

Verified email address

Thank you for verifying your email address.

user account

In this view you can manage your user data.

{* savedProfileMessage *} {* / editProfileForm *}

Change Password

Deactivate account

User data saved successfully

You can view your data at any time in your user account.


Adjust user data

Change Password

Define a new password for your account {* emailAddressData *}.

{* #changePasswordForm *} {* currentPassword *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / changePasswordForm *}

Create a new password

Define a new password for your account.

{* #changePasswordFormNoAuth *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / changePasswordFormNoAuth *}

Password saved successfully

You can now log in to the article with your new password.

Create a new password

We did not recognize the password reset code. Please re-enter your email address so that we can send you a new link.

{* #resetPasswordForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* / resetPasswordForm *}

Create a new password

You will shortly receive an email with a link to renew your password.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Deactivate account

Your account will be deactivated and you will not be able to reactivate it. Recorded comments are not deleted.

Do you really want to deactivate your account?

{* deactivateAccountForm *} {* / deactivateAccountForm *}

Account deactivated

Your account has been deactivated and can no longer be used.
If you would like to register again for the comment function, please contact SRF customer service.

Footer


Metanavigation