Impact of Disinformation on Businesses and the Industry

Disinformation can create more damage than many people realize. Disinformation affects a company’s brand in harmful ways and impacts the public’s trust. In some instances, the negative effects of disinformation can even influence financial markets.

And while disinformation is all around, the public rarely understands its full impact. Sure, we discuss fake news and media literacy, but not enough average consumers truly appreciate the effects of disinformation.

What is Disinformation

Disinformation is the purposeful spreading or creating of false information. This is often done with the intention to harm a public image or instill distrust in a brand or figure. The detail to focus on here is intent or purpose. This is what separates disinformation from misinformation.

Misinformation is simply wrong information that is mentioned in error. There is no malicious intent or ill will behind the false or misleading information. Disinformation, on the other hand, is intended to cause harm. The reasons can range from political to financial to personal.

And this is what makes disinformation so dangerous. It is agenda driven, which means people or businesses are being harmed. The negative effects of disinformation are often thought of before the disinformation is spread. And once multiple sources get behind it (intentionally or not), it is a challenging task.

Real-World Examples of Disinformation

Examples of this are more common than people realize. For instance, conspiracy theories about 5G cell towers have circulated in recent years. These theories claim that cell towers slowed down or even stopped the upgrade of digital infrastructure in many areas.

Another instance of the negative effects of disinformation involved the Metro Bank in the UK. False stories on social media about Metro Bank in the UK caused customers to line up to close their savings accounts. This is an example of how dangerously disinformation impacts society. In this example, not only was Metro Bank harmed, but the public also misled.

One study estimates that fake news costs the US stock market US$39 billion each year. In this way, disinformation directly leads to disruption. This disruption certainly harms some more than others, but it is circumstantial in that regard. Overall, the effects of disinformation reach every aspect of society, whether we realize it or not.

Disinformation Impacts Trust

Direct Selling is far from immune to the effects of disinformation. In fact, the direct selling industry is a major target of misleading information. And negative effects of disinformation harm entrepreneurs as well as consumers.

The worst damage that disinformation can do to direct selling is to discourage potential entrepreneurs. There are many benefits the industry offers, but disinformation prevents many from taking advantage. Direct selling offers individuals a way to start their own business and generate income.

If these individuals are swayed by the negative effects of disinformation, they could lose out on an enormous opportunity. And this disinformation comes in the form of malicious conspiracy theories or fake news. Overall, it paints an inaccurate portrait of the direct selling industry.

This false information often prevents entrepreneurs from learning about the benefits that the industry offers. As a result, they overlook advantages such as flexibility, independence, training, and support. This is how people generally perceive direct selling—they could fall victim to disinformation, only seeing what misleading information has shown them.

This is why many direct selling companies work with the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. The goal is to combat disinformation about the industry. This includes instituting comprehensive policies and procedures to promote public trust in the direct selling model.

Our mission

We’re here to educate, empower, and provide readers with the resources and data they need to make an informed decision about the direct selling industry

Drawing from our own experiences as pioneers in the direct selling industry in many emerging markets, QNET is on a mission to educate the public with accurate and factual information about the direct selling industry and address allegations made against QNET in an open and transparent manner.

Establishing credibility is a key tool in a business’ arsenal in the fight against disinformation. An important element of this is being able to communicate data and hard facts that allow readers to cut through the fluff and get to the crux of the message.

QNET is a prominent direct selling company with customers in many parts of the world, including in emerging markets where direct selling is either unknown or still in its nascent stages. This has led to a lot of misinformation about QNET being propagated in the public narrative.

Fighting Disinformation, together. Awareness, Knowledge, Action


Direct Selling Industry FAQs

According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations’ (WFDSA) 2021 Global Sales Report, Direct selling is a $186.1 USD billion industry worldwide that encompasses 128.2 million independent distributors. These independent distributors affiliate with a direct selling company but enjoy the freedom of building a business on their own terms and time. Many join because they love a company’s products or services and want to purchase them at a discount. Others sell to their friends, family and communities and earn commissions on their sales. The most successful entrepreneurs encourage others through support and mentorship to build their own successful businesses.

The direct selling business model is all about reaching out to customers and members with premium, exclusive products that are not generally available through retail stores. Most of these products, both durables and consumables, have features and benefits that have to be explained to the customer, it is not something an individual would directly pick up off a rack. In the case of consumables, the efficacy of the product has to be established to ensure repeat purchase. The success of any direct selling company is reliant on this aspect.

An example is QNET, whose product price is the prerogative of the manufacturer/seller. It may be pertinent to note here that most consumer products have a cost of 30% of MRP and the remaining is distributed over marketing expenses and margins of the wholesaler and retailer. The formula applied by direct selling companies is the same.

Reference: Is It True That Direct Selling Products Are Expensive?

Direct Selling is a great platform to look for an additional source of income or for a full-time business. However, just like any other business, some people succeed, and some don’t. And therein lies the beauty of direct selling: It allows you to work at your own pace, which also explains why the results vary from person to person. Here are seven reasons why some people make money in direct selling (and others don’t):

    • They are focussed
    • They don’t procrastinate
    • They are consistent
    • They take relationships seriously
    • They don’t expect overnight results
    • They don’t overcomplicate the business
    • They have supportive uplines

Reference: 7 Reasons Why People Make Money in Direct Selling

The direct selling industry is serious about protecting its members. That’s why it has regulations in place that also help to create confidence in the market. Direct selling protects its customers and entrepreneurs in two ways: (1) Self regulation through the Code of Ethics and (2) Laws in individual countries. Direct selling rose to popularity in the U.S. from the 1900s onwards. That required an independent body to protect the sector, which led to the formation of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA). The DSA created the industry’s Code of Ethics to maintain the highest standards for doing business. These ethics cover what direct sellers can and cannot do when it comes to building the business. Today, more than 60 countries have their own direct selling associations. Local DSAs are a crucial part of the industry’s support structure. They act to promote the industry and to build trust and integrity around it.

Reference: Is Direct Selling Legal and Safe?

Additional Resources

Report Misinformation about QNET Today

If you are approached by someone with information about QNET that sounds suspicious or inaccurate, please report the disinformation to us with as much detail as possible. If you are being harassed or pressured by someone in the name of QNET, please let us know immediately.