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Process: Evaluating News

Fake News

Decorative fake news

Fake news -- we hear it all the time. But what is it anyway? There are many definitions as well as many conversations and disagreements about the term. This page helps to give you a few ways to think and understand the concept.

What is Fake News?

“News stories that have no factual basis but are presented as facts."

Allcott, Hunt; Gentzkow, Matthew (January 2017). "Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election." Stanford University, New York University, National Bureau of Economic Research: 5–6. 

This is one possible definition of Fake News, but there are several others. The concept is complex and difficult to define --- there are many types of misinformation and disinformation. To help clarify, Claire Wardle, a researcher for FirstDraftNews, has developed a typology that defines variations of fake news. These distinctions are not absolute but help us to identify problematic information and to approach information sources with a healthy skepticism.

7 Types of [M | D] isinformation

Satire or Parody
False Connection
Misleading Content
False Context
Imposter content
Manipulated Content
Fabricated Content

Taxonomy of Fake News