No Fake News: Textbroker’s Stance on Acceptable Orders
Textbroker's Terms of Service provides some helpful insights into what to do when you think you're being asked to write fake news. Here's how to distinguish these assignments from positive posts and other popular order types.
Have you been living under a self-imposed media blackout for the past few years? It can be nice to take a break sometimes, but for most Textbroker writers, staying connected to current events is critical to producing quality work.
If you’re like most of your peers and colleagues, then thanks to your forays with the media, you’ve probably heard the phrase “fake news.” You may have even wondered how this concept impacts your professional writing.
Fortunately, Textbroker’s Terms of Service provides some helpful insights into what to do when you think you’re being asked to write fake news. Here’s how to distinguish these assignments from positive posts and other popular order types.
Fake news or positive post? They’re not the same.
Wikipedia defines fake news as a kind of propaganda designed to mislead readers for some form of gain. Positive post orders, on the other hand, are essentially persuasive essays where you need to convince a reader of your point by presenting a sound argument.
Textbroker’s No Fake News Policy
The Textbroker Terms of Service agreement draws a firm line in the sand when it comes to fake news. Falsified reviews, misrepresentative news articles and fabricated information are all prohibited. Clients aren’t permitted to request this kind of work either, so if you think you see it, then you should get in touch with Textbroker staff immediately.
Looking at Examples and Writing Persuasively
Suppose you encounter an assignment asking for what appears to be an opinionated discussion of a political topic. For instance, a client might ask you to “Describe why Senator Such-and-such supported bill H.R.-XXX that most of their constituents voted against. Mention that the Senator was quoted as saying they’re actually doing it to protect their district. Don’t mention anything negative about the Senator.”
In the previous request, it’s obvious that the client wants you to promote a certain side of an argument. Is this fake news or a persuasive post? The answer depends on how you present it.
As factcheck.org noted in 2016, many fake news articles share common hallmarks. You can start getting into trouble when your writing
- Presents unverified opinions as facts or includes them without making it clear that they’re quotes,
- Uses provocative, clickbait headlines or inflammatory rhetoric, or
- Distorts real events or people’s opinions.
Back Up Your Assertions
These issues are easy to avoid by citing your sources, using links or footnotes. This practice also makes most clients appreciate your writing more.
Leave Room for Error
Another smart move is to avoid definitive language and guarantees. If you want to say that bill H.R-XXX could have a certain benefit, ditch phrases like “it will” for terms like “it may” or “it could.” After all, you’re a writer, not a clairvoyant; however, if you can predict the future, I’d like to ask you about some lottery tickets.
Know When to Move On
If you’re unsure whether a request not to include any negativity is misrepresentative or harmful, you don’t have to write the order. With so many topics to choose from, most writers can afford to follow their heart and pick assignments that they actually believe in. If something doesn’t seem to violate the ToS yet still makes you uncomfortable, simply pick a different assignment.
We want to hear from you! We’re currently asking authors to complete our Textbroker Author Survey.
Take the author survey now!