Welcome To The Age Of Cheap Overseas Information

As ad dollars that used to fund journalism pour into the coffers of Facebook and Google, the information business is experiencing a trend familiar to other American industries: The product they produce is now competing with cheaper versions coming from overseas.

Content farmers in the Philippines, Pakistan, Macedonia (of course), and beyond are launching websites and Facebook pages aimed at Americans in niches such as politics, mental health, marijuana, American muscle cars, and more.

Based on Facebook engagement and other metrics, some of these overseas publishers are now beating their American counterparts. In the process they’re building an industry centered on producing and exporting cheap (and sometimes false) information targeted at the US.

“This is like all of the basic stuff happening in economics and politics today,” said Tyson Barker, a political economist with the Aspen Institute Germany who specializes in international economic policy. “It’s a globalization trend and you’ve seen it also in manufacturing and other industries.”

Americans and others in the English-language world are used to buying clothing and other products with labels that say “Made in China” or “Made in Bangladesh.” Thanks to the rise of platforms like Facebook and Google, a growing amount of the information being served up in English is now coming from overseas, albeit without the same kind of labeling.

Read more at BuzzFeed.