Welcome to publishing in the era of the information dealer.
Just as the arms dealers and profiteers of the past stirred up murder and chaos for the purpose of profit, so too the information dealers pander to the lowest common denominator for the purpose of profit. Their weapons of choice are link-bait, fake news, click farms, fake reviews, and spammy content.
The golden era of the information dealer has been ushered in via the sudden rise of big data and large information brokers such as Facebook, AT&T, Google, and Amazon. This matters to storytellers because Amazon now makes the rules for how readers discover and consume story (as a commodity!). This could end up being a VERY BAD THING if we storytellers don’t rise up as Pirate Authors to defend the trustworthiness of our industry and the security of our livelihoods.