It's a form of "news," typically a website, that produces or promotes exaggerated or otherwise false information. Fake news comes in many forms:
- satire or parody -- intended to be funny but may fool some
- false connection -- attention-getting headlines do not match the content of the article
- misleading content -- using information to mislead perceptions of an issue or individual
- false content -- authentic information is shared but false or misleading information is included
- imposter content -- geniune sources are imitated by false or made-up sources
- manipulated content -- authentic information is manipulated with the intent to deceive; leaving out vital information; using biased information to present slanted "facts"
- fabricated content -- content is 100% false; intended to deceive; direct lying
Where will I find fake news?
Fake news is most readily found on social media. Fake news publishers rely on the ease of promoting and sharing online articles to proliferate their materials. Additionally, the most common subject of "fake news" is politics.
How can I spot fake news?
- Consider whether the publisher of the site is intending to inform, entertain, or persuade readers. Those working to entertain are likely "fake," while those intending to persuade or inform should be further analyzed.
- Read or skim the entire article to determine whether the headline matches the content. Those that fail this test are likely "fake news."
- Review the author's credentials to see if they're real and credible. Qualified experts and organizations will have experience and education in the topic discussed, as well as cite their sources in the article.
- Check the date of publication to assure the information is current. Articles tend to resurface on the internet years after original publication and would then be considered fake.
- Research the topic on highly-reputable sites to confirm or refute information.
What are reliable news resources?
Consider the chart below when analyzing the reliability of news postings. Ideal political sources, according to this chart, include the Associated Press, C-SPAN, The Economist, Reuters, The Texas Tribune, USA Today, and the Financial Times. Additionally, the news sources in the "high quality" tier have reliable information, though, when veering to the left or right of center may impart some political biases in coverage.
Press, 6 Feb. 2017, scholarsandrogues.com/2017/02/06/examining-the-reddit-guide-to-fake-news/. Accessed 10 Apr.
Rappoport, Jon. "Ten Basic Forms of Fake News Used by major Media." Jon Rappoport's Blog. Word Press, 5 Jan. 2017
10 Apr. 2017.