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Fake News - Strategies for Evaluating News Sources

Defining Fake News

What Is Fake News?

Simply put, fake news can be defined as news stories that are completely false with no factual basis. These stories are circulated with the intention of deliberately deceiving readers for the purpose of political or financial gain. 

Source: Hunt, Elle. "What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it." The Guardian, 17 December 2016.

Types of Fake News

What Kinds of Fake News Exist?

There are four broad categories of fake news, according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College.

​CATEGORY 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on "outrage" by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits

CATEGORY 2: Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information

CATEGORY 3: Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions

CATEGORY 4: Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news

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