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Fake News / Evaluating Online Information


What is Fake News?

Fake NewsFake news is "fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent. Fake-news outlets, in turn, lack the news media's editorial norms and processes for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of information. Fake news overlaps with other information disorders, such as misinformation (false or misleading information) and disinformation (false information that is purposely spread to deceive people)."

This guide is designed to help you spot fake news and other types of unreliable or misleading sources of information.

How Does Fake News Spread?

Watch this TED Ed video to learn about the concept of circular reporting and it's role in spreading fake news.

Check out TED Ed for more information and further resources about how fake news spreads.

History of Fake News

The ease with which social media and smartphones allow us to share information might make it seem like the fake news epidemic is a by-product of modern technology. But misinformation has long been a part of our media landscape.

Yellow Journalism

In 1898 an explosion sank the USS Maine, a US Navy ship stationed in Havana, Cuba. Many newspapers ran news stories accusing Spain of deliberately blowing up the ship despite subsequent military investigations proving inconclusive. These fake and exaggerated stories fueled anti-Spanish sentiment and according to some historians helped drive the US entry into the Spanish-American War.