The Motley Fool: When Articles Sound Personal And Are Called “News”

Financial analyses- like any analyses- ring most true when they ring objective- and when they lack a certain tone of spite, or of any subjective motivation.

The Motley Fool company seems interested in attacking Snap and Snapchat on a daily basis, and in great detail. Of course, The Motley Fool company owns stock in Facebook– which it discloses. And this is fine. But, these articles appear in Yahoo! Finance under a section called “News”. But they are not “news”.  They are self-serving commentaries where money is involved in the outcomes, and where the articles are being used to persuade readers towards the company’s financial ends. It’s not journalism[1].

When these articles are in the news feed, it confuses readers as to what is legitimate news vs. that which appears to be news, but actually is authored by writers who have financial interests related to the underlying subject matter. Even “I”, as someone who is aware of these issues, had to scroll to the bottom of a recent article to see just why this company is so insistent on being so condescending and negative every day about Snap. It was not readily apparent to me that it owned Facebook stock.

The article goes on to specify that the actual writer of the article owns no position in the stocks about which he writes, but the company itself does. This is even more misleading. It makes readers think the writer is being totally objective- but, his paycheck is coming from the company.

Here’s the article that finally pushed me to write this piece. Decide for yourself if it sounds like objective journalism and news- or, rather, a mean-spirited attack for the purpose of personal gain- in which case, it is neither news nor journalism.;_ylc=X1MDMTE5Nzc4NDE4NQRfZXgDMQRfeXJpZAM3ZDY5OXRoZDVpOW9lBGcDZFhWcFpEeHVjejQxWWpZNFptWXlZUzAxTUdNNExUTTVNemt0T0dVek15MWtOMlpsT1RRNE5XSXdZemQxZFdsa1BHNXpQbE5PUVZBPQ0KBGxhbmcDZW4tVVMEb3JpZ19sYW5nA2VuBG9yaWdfcmVnaW9uA1VTBHBvcwMwBHJlZ2lvbgNVUwRzeW1ib2wDU05BUA–?.tsrc=applewf 


[1] The Street, another financial publication with articles also found in online financial company “news” feeds, uses the same tactic where it derides Snap and Snapchat day-in and day-out, and then discloses at the bottom of its articles that the company owner owns stock in Facebook.


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